The owners responsible for the illegal demolition of the Corkman Irish Pub have been sentenced to one month in prison and must pay $250,000 in legal costs and a $150,000 fine for failing to comply with an order from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Melbourne City Council and the Victorian Government successfully pursued the contempt of court convictions in the planning tribunal last month and welcomed today’s sentencing following the guilty verdict from the President of the tribunal, Justice Michelle Quigley.
The new penalty applies to 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).
Justice Quigley found the company and its two directors had wilfully and deliberately failed to comply with the terms of a May 2019 VCAT order requiring them to clear the site in Carlton and make it available for public recreation.
The State Government and Melbourne City Council were awarded $250,000 legal costs from the owners in light of their failure to comply with the Orders.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the Today’s decision vindicates the court’s authority and sends a clear message that the council won’t tolerate developers disobeying a court order.
“We took on these proceedings in the public interest because it’s completely unacceptable to ignore a court ruling,” Capp said.
“We look forward to seeing the site cleaned up and available for the public to enjoy.”
Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the developers deserve this outcome.
“They have trashed Victoria’s heritage, refused to build a park, and shirked their legal obligations at every step,” he said.