The owners responsible for the illegal demolition of the Corkman Irish Pub have been found guilty of contempt of court following legal action brought by Melbourne City Council and the Victorian Government.
The company and its two directors were found guilty of failing to comply with a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) order from May 2019 requiring them to clear the site in Carlton and make it available for public recreation.
The contempt of court proceedings were lodged against Stefce Kutlesovski, Raman Shaqiri and the company that owns the property, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd (of which Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri are both Directors).
President of the tribunal, Justice Michelle Quigley, found that their inaction and non-compliance with the terms of the Order was considered, wilful and deliberate. Justice Quigley concluded that the respondents chose only to take steps that they wished to take and no more.
The penalty for Contempt of Court will be decided at a future hearing. The City of Melbourne will seek to recover the full legal costs from the owners in light of their failure to comply with the Orders.
Attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp:
“The owners of the Corkman site showed callous disregard for our city’s history by knocking down a heritage pub in the middle of the night. They continue to do the wrong thing and we won’t tolerate it.
We have taken action on behalf of the community to ensure the site is cleaned up and available for the public to enjoy.”
Attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne:
“This ruling sends a clear message these developers can’t and won’t get away with unlawful and blatant disregard for our city’s heritage.
We’ll be continuing to pursue them until they take responsibility and make good on their agreement to turn the site into a temporary park.”