The developer 'cowboys' who illegally destroyed a Melbourne pub will be hauled before the planning tribunal in a bid to force them to rebuild it.
The Corkman Irish Pub in Carlton was knocked down without a permit 10 days ago and now the state government and City of Melbourne have launched joint action against developers Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri at VCAT.
If VCAT rules in favour of the government and council, the enforcement order would require Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri to rebuild the pub in line with the design, scale and layout of the demolished building.
Planning minister Richard Wynne said the government and council were sending a clear message that “wilful and illegal destruction of our heritage will not be tolerated”.
“These cowboy developers thumbed their noses at Victoria’s building and planning laws,” Mr Wynne said.,
He said the government was also looking at introducing new fines for commercial heritage buildings so owners face tougher penalties for illegal demolition.
The Environment Protection Authority also says rubble from the Carlton site had been found elsewhere.
EPA metro manager Daniel Hunt says a tip-off led to the discovery of asbestos-containing waste that had been transferred from Carlton to Cairnlea.
The EPA will now issue a notice to the owner of the Cairnlea site requiring them to cover the waste to prevent dust impacting nearby residents.
The owner must also erect signs advising asbestos is present and wet the waste to prevent potentially deadly fibres leaving the site until a cover is installed.
Mr Kutlesovski and Mr Shaqiri have already been fined $7500 for failing to adequately cover the debris at the Carlton site where the heritage-listed Corkman previously stood.
Numerous authorities are investigating the unlawful demolition including Worksafe, the Victorian Planning Authority and the Melbourne City Council.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy said the book needs to be thrown at the developers and they should have to clean up their mess.
“Any planning permit in the future must guarantee the full heritage rebuild of that facade,” he said.