The end of an er­ror

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By JON BAS­SETT

SOME Pep­per­mint Grove chil­dren called it “the big, bad dragon’s cas­tle” but de­mol­ish­ers eas­ily ended a six-year saga when they started to tear down the derelict $70 mil­lion Oswal man­sion at 10.50am yes­ter­day.

“It’s a re­lief, for the coun­cil and the res­i­dents,” Shire of Pep­per­mint Grove Pres­i­dent Rachel Thomas said.

“But the cham­pagne will only be popped when it’s done and not at the be­gin­ning.”

The coun­cil is pay­ing Cap­i­tal Re­cy­cling $97,500 to bring down the con­crete and brick seven-bed­room, 11-bath­room home on 6500sq m on Bay View Ter­race over two to three weeks.

At the State Administrative Tri­bunal, the coun­cil suc­cess­fully ar­gued that the man­sion was an eye­sore and safety risk, at­tract­ing park­our thrillseek­ers, graf­fiti van­dals and par­ty­go­ers who risked fall­ing down its stair­case.

“It’s been a ter­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ence for the neigh­bours who never knew if they would be dis­turbed by kids par­ty­ing in the man­sion in the mid­dle of the night,” Mrs Thomas said.

A fort­night ago, for­mer Pil­bara fer­tiliser plant mag­nates Pankaj and Rad­hika Oswal, who are in talks with the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice over an al­leged tax bill, left Aus­tralia af­ter reach­ing a con­fi­den­tial set­tle­ment with

ANZ bank for a re­ported $200 mil­lion over the plant’s col­lapse.

Mrs Thomas said the cou­ple was now tak­ing ad­vice on the best op­tions to dis­pose of their three WA properties and the coun­cil as­sumed the man­sion’s land would be sold.

The coun­cil is ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Oswals to pay the de­mo­li­tion’s cost, af­ter a deed was ob­tained for $106,000 in out­stand­ing rates by the end of this month.

The de­mo­li­tion at­tracted na­tional cov­er­age, and about 100 res­i­dents and on-look­ers from across Perth. “I’m sure the neigh­bours are de­lighted to see it go as I know there’s been

a lot of van­dal­ism and it’s be­come a bit of a white ele­phant,” Pep­per­mint Grove res­i­dent Chan­tal Sea­green said.

The man­sion is ex­pected to pro­duce about 3700 tonnes of build­ing waste that will be re­cy­cled for road­base and hard­stands.

“It will be rea­son­ably sim­ple be­cause it’s just con­crete and brick,” Cap­i­tal Re­cy­cling project man­ager Chris Far­rar said.

Trucks will use a route from Stir­ling High­way, along Irvine Street, View Ter­race, Keane Street, and out of the sub­urb on Bay View Ter­race and Glyde Street, from 7am to 4pm.

Pic­tures: Matt Jelonek­mu­ni­ d460098

Pep­per­mint Grove Shire Pres­i­dent Rachel Thomas speaks to the me­dia (in­set) as the de­mo­li­tion starts.

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