They might be digging their heels in against a Government-mandated order to rebuild it, but the rogue developers who allegedly levelled a historic Melbourne pub are now facing the wrath of the law.

The men who owned the historic Corkman Irish Pub in the city-fringe suburb of Carlton have now been handed a raft of criminal charges stemming from the highly protested and severely illegal demolition of the 159-year-old pub last October.

The Melbourne City Council and the Victorian Building Authority today lodged 16 charges against Stefce Kutlesovski, Raman Shaqiri, and the holding company for the property 160 Leicester Pty Ltd.

The charges revolve primarily around the unauthorised demolition work, and the defiance of a stop-work order, and carry a combined maximum penalty of around $2 million in fines.

The pub was under a heritage overlay, and no permits for its demolition were issued when workers moved in swiftly to pull the entire building down. Rubble from the site, which included asbestos, was found dumped at a site also owned by Kutlesovski and Shaqiri. Preliminary plans to construct a 12-storey apartment block on the site were also discovered.

The list of charges, handed down to both individuals and the company as a whole, read as follows:

Kutlesovski is facing charges of…

  • Demolition without a building permit.
  • Holding himself out as a demolisher when he was not registered.
  • Failing to comply with an order to stop building work.
  • Demolishing a building in contravention of the planning legislation.
  • Carrying out demolition without 48-hours written notice to the Melbourne City Council.
  • Carrying out building work (demolition) outside permissible hours.

Shaqiri is facing charges of…

  • Permitting the demolition of a building without a building permit.
  • Failing to comply with an order to stop building work
  • Failing to exercise due diligence to prevent the demolition of a building without the requisite consent required under planning legislation.
  • Carrying out demolition without 48-hours written notice to the Melbourne City Council.
  • Carrying out building work (demolition) outside permissible hours.

Their company, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd, is facing charges of…

  • Permitting the demolition of a building without a building permit.
  • Failing to comply with an order to stop building work.
  • Demolishing a building in contravention of the planning legislation.
  • Carrying out demolition without 48-hours written notice to the Melbourne City Council.
  • Carrying out building work (demolition) outside permissible hours.

Or, in other words, a rap sheet as long yr bloody arm.

The men-in-question have yet to comment on the charges.

Meanwhile, the pub they tore down remains an empty building site. An on-going VCAT hearing is set to explore the legality of a rebuild order issued by the Victorian Government.

Don’t tear down pubs, kids.

Source: The Age.

Photo: Melbourne Heritage Action/Instagram.