Victoria Wall Collapse Builder Fronts Court

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The builder charged over a Melbourne wall collapse that killed three people was told he did not need a permit to work on the site, a court has heard.

Jonathon Clyde Westmoreland, 29, is charged with working without a permit to bolt a timber structure to the wall, which toppled onto passers-by.

Teenage siblings Alexander and Bridget Jones of Melbourne and Dr Marie-Faith Fiawoo, 33, of France, were killed when a 15-metre-long section of the brick wall fell onto Swanston Street in the CBD in March last year.

Westmoreland is accused of working on the wall without the permit in October 2011, some 17 months before it collapsed.

His lawyer Peter Haag told the Melbourne Magistrates Court Westmoreland was hired as a sub-contractor by Aussie Signs Pty Ltd to work on the wall.

Before starting work, he said Westmoreland received a letter from the company which made it clear no work permit was required.

Mr Haag said Westmoreland’s defence team was in the process of obtaining information used in an inquest into the deaths in a bid to reveal the details of the employment agreement between Westmoreland and Aussie Signs.

The Victorian WorkCover Authority has also charged construction company Grocon and Aussie Signs with failing to ensure a safe workplace.

Westmoreland will return to court in December.

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