Me­ha­jer ‘ ma­nip­u­lat­ing’ court and coun­cil to build a mega mall

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - BEN PIKE

SALIM Me­ha­jer has been ac­cused of try­ing to ma­nip­u­late the po­lit­i­cal and court pro­cesses to get a mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar mega mall ap­proved.

This de­vel­op­ment has been a source of con­tro­versy since 2013 and is be­fore the NSW Supreme Court.

But there it has stalled. Cum­ber­land Coun­cil gen­eral man­ager Mal- colm Roberts claimed Mr Me­ha­jer has been de­lay­ing pro­ceed­ings un­til af­ter the Septem­ber 9 coun­cil elec­tions.

“His (Mr Me­ha­jer’s) bar­ris­ter has told our lawyer they are try­ing to de­lay the mat­ter so it goes be­fore a new­ly­elected coun­cil,” Mr Roberts said.

“It seems like a strat­egy that he thinks he can in­flu­ence the new coun­cil.” Coun­cil doc­u­ments re­veal Mr Me­ha­jer’s lawyers have failed to meet dead­lines eight times.

Mr Me­ha­jer (left) was deputy mayor of the then-Auburn Coun­cil in March 2013 when the coun­cil en­tered into a con­tract to sell him a carpark in Lid­combe for $6.5 mil­lion. The sale of the pub­licly-owned land was not open to any other bid­ders.

Mr Me­ha­jer’s com­pany Syd­ney Con­struc­tions & Devel­op­ments owns ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties and wants to build a mega mar­ket and apart­ment block worth tens of mil­lions.

But coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tor Viv May can­celled the con­tract in Fe­bru­ary 2016, less than six months af­ter the state gov­ern­ment sacked Auburn Coun­cil. Mr Me­ha­jer’s com­pany went to the NSW Supreme Court, de­mand- ing the coun­cil ful­fil the con­tract. The carpark was part of the state gov­ern­ment’s Pub­lic In­quiry into Auburn Coun­cil. Scru­tiny into the coun­cil was trig­gered by Mr Me­ha­jer’s lav­ish wed­ding in 2015. The pub­lic in­quiry made no ad­verse find­ings against any Auburn coun­cil­lors.

Mr Me­ha­jer and his lawyers re­fused to com­ment when con­tacted by The Sun­day Tele­graph.


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