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The Corkman (160 Leicester St. Carlton) Demolished

Bilby's picture

The Corkman (previously the Carlton Inn) in Carlton was illegally demolished without a permit over the weekend. Reports suggest that without a demolition permit or street closure permits, safety provisions for the public were very poor also. This building was listed under a heritage overlay and was almost 160 years old. The site was purchased by a local developer in 2014. Recently after its lease ended, there had been a fire inside the building, which caused some internal damage, but left the building structurally intact. This weekend the bulldozers moved in - the demolition company has now been deregistered, and based on other cases in the inner city over the past couple of years, it would be very surprising if the council and/or VCAT didn't order a full heritage reconstruction of the heritage facade along both street frontages:


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Adrian's picture

That's disgraceful .. I agree the developer should be forced to reconstruct the facade and re-open the pub with whatever cheap block of flats they are planning to put up ..

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Adam Ford's picture

Video and petition here if people are interested...

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3000's picture

How does this even happen? Someone messed up big time.

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Adam Ford's picture

I'd suggest it happens through base evil intent rather than accident.

There were no approvals for any works on site whatsoever. The demolition firm involved is DEREGISTERED.
They were issued with a stop work notice by Council enforcement officers Saturday night that they proceeded to ignore on Sunday.

But Council enforcement officers aren't the police. They're not empowered to lie in front of bulldozers. Could Council have CALLED the Police? It's rapidly becoming clear that there are a lot of exceptionally grey areas here. No two parties can give you the same answer right now as to what extent the law has been violated nor what the actual sanction is for that. And like most areas of law a remedy will only be delivered after a crime has been both identified and prosecuted, ie once it's a significantly past tense event.

The only stuff that's really any certainty is that it's an up to $180k fine, and precedent for something on this scale is that they should cop the maximum. But where they can go to I think 12 storeys here, this is probably peanuts margin-wise. Precedent is also pretty good that they will be forced to rebuild the facade but almost certainly no interior. It would be great to see them forced to at least put a pub back in.

The question is with the new setback requirements and if they're forced to reinstate the facade, is the site developable at all? It's not that big.
You have to wonder given these guys are demolitionists (deregistered - and how big a cowboy do you have to be to achieve that? I have no idea.) who turned their mind to development and paid $1.5m (almost 50%) overs for a possibly undevelopable site, is this just total amateur hour, or is it more evil?

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3000's picture

I'm curious as why they went ahead and did it. Was there a application for site to be built on or did they just decide out of the blue to demolish it?

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

^ no application, no planning permits, not even a private building surveyor demolition permit. and now CFMEU reps are onsite saying they've found asbestos which was also illegally demolished and very likely with zero safety precautions..

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theboynoodle's picture

The penalty should be forfeiture of the land title. There should be no possible scenario where fines for this sort of thing can be deemed a cost of doing business - that creates reverse incentives for both the developer and, believe it or not, the regulator.

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Adam Ford's picture

Yes, the simplest thing would be to have a much higher penalty that related to the perceived developable value of the land if they are to retain ownership.
Interestingly, the heritage obligations, if reinstatement is ordered effectively relate to the property, not the owner. So they can't on-sell this as a blank slate. The new owner would be equally required to remedy the demolition.

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Adrian's picture

Hear Hear ..

The either rebuild the pub in it's entirely or stripped of land title.

Nothing less than that - a $180k fine is meaningless ..

Who exactly are the owners/developers here ?? They should be named and shamed publicly now .. I'd be the first to line up throw a few asbestos lined bricks through their office windows

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Alastair Taylor's picture

The penalty should be forfeiture of the land title.

Yep - I hope Wynne takes it to state cabinet at some point and argues for legislative amendments to include extreme penalties if a case like this ever rears its ugly head again.

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drunkill's picture

Have the council/state government acquire the land for the market value, plus the additional 'cost of improvements' (in this case, a negative number) and have the owner pay that difference.

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Bilby's picture

Or have them rebuild the historic facades, then rezone as a school zone and have the government acquire the site for the much needed (vertical) state secondary schooling required for the CBD and Docklands we've been hearing so much about lately. It's actually a pretty good site with parkland for passive student recreation to the east and directly to the north west.

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Bilby's picture

The petition to rebuild is going gangbusters - over 7000 signatures now and trending upwards: https://www.change.org/p/city-of-melbourne-resurrect-the-corkman-pub?rec...

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3000's picture

Good to see the younger generation giving a shit.

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Boris Bomber's picture

Didnt the Jollys from the block get done for something similar in kew. The council mafe them rebuilt it. Same should apply plus a 500k fine

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Adam Ford's picture

The Jollys were ordered to rebuild the FACADE, which is what they claim they always intended to do . They were spared any fine, fair enough, they're a couple of owner-occupier amateurs.

THESE GUYS however.
They have traded as Makland. But they are Stefce Kutlesovski and Raman Shaqiri, trading here as 160 Leicester Pty Ltd.
Shaqiri is also a Director of Shaq Demolition and Excavation, the DEREGISTERED demolition firm that did the illegal work here.

And confirming the CFMEU have found oodles of unsecured asbestos on site, so they've broken about a bazillion OHS laws, and probably about as many building code provisions.

"Cowboys" is an understatement. They also own The Last Jar/former Arthouse on Queensbury/Elizabeth, so watch for plumes of smoke rising from that property any day now ...

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Adam Ford's picture

So if anyone's looking for a kind of update and where to from here on the saga, I've banged out another blog this morning...
Would be great if folks could help with sharing this ...

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Peter Maltezos's picture


More to come from 'cowboy developers' that wrecked Carlton pub

OCTOBER 18 2016 - 5:53PM Clay Lucas

The illegal destruction of a historic Carlton pub can be traced back to a development company with tens of millions of dollars worth of projects under way across Melbourne.

And one of the firm's companies, which appears to have knocked down the pub, had previously been sued by a property owner – because one of its sub-contractors demolished the wrong house.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne on Tuesday branded the company that wrecked the 159-year-old Leicester Street pub "cavalier cowboy developers" who had acted "reprehensibly".

And Robert Doyle said the razing of the historic pub on the weekend was "the most brazen and wanton act of destructive vandalism that I have seen in my time as lord mayor".

Stefce​ Kutlesovski​ and Raman​ Shaqiri​ own the site where, until Sunday, the Corkman Irish Pub, formerly known as the Carlton Inn, had stood since 1857.

The building was demolished without permission, despite it having a heritage overlay and no approved demolition or planning permits.

The pub was demolished by crews working with trucks and equipment labelled Shaq Demolition and Excavation, a company part-owned by Mr Shaqiri.

I collect, therefore I am. thecollectormm.com.au

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SYmlb's picture

At the very least, they should be prosecuted for demolishing a building with asbestos recklessly and potentially harming the general public without any precautions taken. That is absolutely atrocious on any level, irrespective of the damage done with the illegal demolition.

I believe mishandling asbestos like this is punishable with 5 years jail under the Work Health and Safety Act. No excuse here. Throw the book at them.

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Grampians's picture

some Israeli style justice...demo THEIR homes, contents and all

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Adam Ford's picture

Well here's my latest take on the likely remedies.

If you happen to be one of the developers or a relative, you might want a stiff drink before reading this ..


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Adrian's picture

GREAT stuff ADAM love it !!!!

Meanwhile GO the CFMEU ...


NAIL these F******G BASTARDS to the brick wall they just demolished !!!!!!

Meanwhile the petition has all but reached it's 15,000 target - don't forget to sign up everyone !!


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George Janko's picture

The future cost for the community of this brazen demolition has not been considered. In 20 plus years it could run to billions.
This demolition is atrocious. Especially now that we realize that the locals community, the University students (Melbourne Business School, The Law School, The Economics and Commerce school) , the staff and the lecturers, and others who live in the area have been breathing in asbestos fibres over the last five days.
You may or may not be aware that asbestos needles are very fine and with the recent very windy conditions even patients at the RMH may end up sicker then when they got there. Certainly hundreds of people would be affected by this demolition.
No they will not get sicker immediately but in twenty or so years they may get cancer – one of the worst cancers – the incurable mesothelioma! This is a slow very painful condition to die from.
It is a terrible thing that has been done.
And we needed to respond properly!

George Janko (Dr)
0418 557446

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Adam Ford's picture

Deregister his kneecaps....
Cheers Adrian. You may not realise how much feedback like that matters at the exhaustion end of this.
Buy you a beer sometime.

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Adrian's picture

It's you I'll be buying the beer for mate - hopefully at the rebuilt Corkman one day thanks in part to your greatly appreciated efforts !!

As for the Asbestos .. let's hope those lawyers that used to drink at the pub and now breathing those fibers will graduate to continue to make life hell for Melbourne's most hated pair of criminals ..

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