De­mo­li­tion full hear­ing looms

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - By JON BAS­SETT

LAWYERS have been told that un­less they can agree, the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal (SAT) will set the date for a full hear­ing about the dis­puted de­mo­li­tion of an un­fin­ished man­sion owned by Rad­hika Oswal in Pep­per­mint Grove.

“Now I an­tic­i­pate you won’t agree, so in 14 days I’ll im­pose it,” SAT se­nior mem­ber Mau­rice Spil­lane said, at a sec­ond SAT di­rec­tions hear­ing last Tues­day.

Mrs Oswal is ap­peal­ing a Pep­per­mint Grove Coun­cil de­mo­li­tion or­der for the man­sion, left in­com­plete since 2011, af­ter the coun­cil de­clared it un­in­hab­it­able in De­cem­ber last year.

Mrs Oswal’s Perth lawyer, Julius Skin­ner, said me­di­a­tion could be in­hib­ited by in­abil­ity to get ex­pert ad­vice about the re­pairs, re­fur­bish­ment and even­tual com­ple­tion of the man­sion mooted by his client.

He said Mrs Oswal’s Syd­ney lawyers told him a day be­fore the hear­ing that an ini­tially con­tracted ar­chi­tec­ture and build­ing en­gi­neer­ing ad­viser was now un­avail­able.

Mr Skin­ner said de­spite his client wish­ing to “move the mat­ter along” to me­di­a­tion, the coun­cil’s re­quest for dates and de­tails for re­pair­ing and com­plet­ing the man­sion were fur­ther com­pli­cated by a Vic­to­rian legal ac­tion about the prop­erty’s mort­gage and an ATO as­set freeze on the prop­erty.

He said re­pairs could take two years to com­plete .

“Where that leaves us is that the sta­tus of the prop­erty is much in limbo at this time, and may end up in the pos­ses­sion of the Com­mis­sioner of Tax­a­tion,” Mr Skin­ner said.

Shire lawyer Digby Robin­son said me­di­a­tion would be “more pro­duc­tive” if de­tails of the pro­posed re­pairs and com­ple­tion of the man­sion were pro­vided by Mr Skin­ner.

Mr Robin­son said the coun­cil wanted to know Mrs Oswal’s fi­nan­cial abil­ity to do the work and its tim­ing, and be given se­nior lawyers’ opin­ions on whether the Vic­to­rian case could af­fect own­er­ship.

The lawyers were told by Mr Spil­lane to dis­cuss me­di­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, and to ad­vise him on a suit­able full hear­ing date at a third di­rec­tions hear­ing on June 23.

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