40. 2005 – City of Sydney

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next.


1. Mr. Vokelatous’ provocation
2. Continuation of proceedings
3. Compliance Department Officer
4. DA approval
5. Properly engineered footing
6. The Ambush

1. Mr. Vokelatous’ provocation

In the last 3 months  Mr. Vokelatous  has tried to provoke me as I have been passing nearby his property (Glebe Police Event number 73709798). In August 2004 I leased a warehouse on 5A Franklyn Street, Glebe, and I moved to leave there on Janaury 2005. 

2. Continuation of proceedings

On 17 February 2005, the Registrar directed that I was to file and serve an amend Summons by 3 March 2005,  and Mr. Vokelatous to file and serve motion to dismiss by 10 March 2005, and the matter to be re listed by 10 March 2005. I filed and served the amend Summons on 3 March 2005, and Mr. Vokelatous filed the motion to dismiss on  9 March 2005, and he served it to me on the listing day, the 10 March 2005. 

3. Compliance Department Officer

In the document we recovered from the council in August 2005, we found the reason Mr. Vokelatous wanted to delay the listing. Mr. Vokelatous was trying to find a tenant. In order to do that he needs to get an occupation certificate. He figured that with a new Lease in his hand, an occupation certificate and all the work he did in the premises, the relief against forfeiture will not be granted to me. That indeed what happened in court.

Mr Voukelatos needs an Occupation Certificate also for the legal proceedings and the Council issues an Interim Certificate which is later re issued due to a typing error.

15 April 2005 Mr. Vokelatous to Amanda Gorman of Sydney City Council compliance department.(xx) 

“In connection with the obtaining of a part occupation certificate for the residence did you say that smoke alarms and exit signs need to be fitted to both the residence and the shop? As this is likely to take time could you please confirm as I was under the impression that as long as the fireproof ceiling in the shop was complete and smoke alarms fitted to residence we would be OK. Insofar as part occupation residence.”

15 April Amanda Gorman to Mr. Vokelatous. (xx

Fran O’Brien has stated that if you cannot comply with the conditions of consent you will need to lodge a section 96 for the hot water system. Sorry, I cannot help you any more than what I have on this matter.

Many thanks 


On 27 April 2005, Mr. Vokelatous filed his affidavit in support of the motion for dismissal and a Notice of change of Solicitor from Spark Helmore to Jordan Antonopoulos.

27.04.05 Mr Voukelatos to Mrs Gorman *OJ 1, 527 

“Further to our telephone discussion today I confirm that I will install a fire door in the upstairs residence from the deck.”

28.04.05 Mrs Gorman City of Sydney *OK 1-2, 528-9

“Cert of compliance for fire rated gyprock – both levels.”

05.05.05 Mr Voukelatos to City of Sydney *OL 1-2, 530-1

“Application for occupation certificate”

“part of building 1 ST Floor use Residence BCA 6

“other certificates relied on 2) Structural Engineer – Phillip Johnston”

05.05.05 Mr Johnston to Mr & Mrs Voukelatos *OM 1, 532


“First Floor Slab Preparation were seen on 13th April 2005and, after adjustments of concrete cover to column stirrups and corner bars, and removal of form oil from some reinforcement, were satisfactory for pouring of concrete to proceed.”

On 9 May 2005, the City of Sydney issued an Interim Occupation Certificate to the building, No. 39 Glebe Point Road. (Ex. “A 3-4”, Page 3-4).

09.05.05 Mrs Gorman, City of Sydney *ON 1, 533

“Record of missed inspection”

“Type of inspection that was missed

1st floor slab steel”

“Documentary evidence that was relied on to satisfy Council that the work that was subject of the missed inspection was satisfactory Structural Engineer Certificate dated 5th May 2005, prepared by Phillip Johnston”

09.05.05 Interim Occupation Certificate *OO 1-3, 534-6

“Type of Certificate Interim Certificate”

12.05.05 Building & Compliance Memo *OP 1, 537

“I signed the Interim Occupation Certificate for this premises on the recommendation of Amanda Gorman. However, a complaint has been received that Amanda should never have recommended this certificate to be issued because there are significant non-compliance issues.

I will need you to personally inspect this premises ASAP on your return (13/5/05) and advise me if the Interim OC has been correctly issued (ie. all matters required by the regulations had been complied with). Unfortunately, Amanda is not to go on the site for this re-basement as the accusation has been against her and we need to demonstrate that the job has been independently re-assessed again.

Councilor Kremmis and our Director are awaiting our quick response to this.”

4. DA approval

From December 2004, until now Mr. Vokelatous is carrying out work on the building to comply with the Emergency Order from Sydney City Council. On 6December 2004, Mr. Vokelatous displayed on the front door of 39 GPR the notice of his DA approval.Mr. Vokelatous is slowly carrying out work just in the interior of the building. I believe his present work will not resolve the fundamental  structural problems of the building.

5. Properly engineered footing

On 5 May 2005, Mr. Bekker revisit the site to reassess the condition of the eastern wall of the property in light of the alteration work being carried out to the building at present and on 13 May 2005, Structural Engineer Mr. Paul Bekker issued a report to ‘whom it may concern’, in regard to the external sidewall on eastern boundary of the building, No. 39 Glebe Point Road, Glebe. (Ex. “A 1-5”, Page 1-5)   On 13 May 2005, Mr. Bekker issued a report in which he recommend that the wall be cordoned of in the interest of public safety and that the wall be rectified immediately. (Ex. “A 5”, Page 5). Mr Bekker states that any repairs that do not address these problems with the footing of the wall will not rectify the fundamental defect of the wall and thus will be ineffective in providing stability to its very fragile nature.

13.05.05 Mr Bekker to Whom it may OW 1, 545

“Re: External sidewall on eastern boundary

39 Glebe Point Road, Glebe

On May 5 2005 we visited the site at 39 Glebe Point Road to re-assess the condition of the eastern wall to this property in light of the alteration works being carried out to the building at present. This is our fourth visit to the site since Oct 2002.

The eastern wall of this terrace building when viewed externally can be seen to be still extremely out of alignment both vertically and horizontally. The wall clearly was not built in this condition and is now in precarious situation due to the effects of the trees that were planted immediately adjacent to the footings of this wall. The trees have since been removed however the roots, which we observed entwined within the footings of the building during our previous visits (Oct 2002) have been left in place. Window openings have been made in the wall but there is no indication of any rebuilding or underpinning has taken place.

As stated previously we believe the wall to still be in danger of collapse and we restate our recommendation that the wall be cordoned off in the interest of the public safety, and the wall be rectified immediately. Due to the effects of the rooting root fabric remaining in the ground and entwined within the existing footing, any repairs that do not address these problems with the footing of the wall will not rectify the fundamental defect of the wall and thus will be ineffective in providing stability to its very fragile nature. We recommend that repairs as stated previously entail demolition of the wall and rebuilding on properly engineered footings founded on solid foundation bellow the effects of the culprit tree roots.

As well the public safety issue consideration to the public space at the side of the building, concern is also expressed regarding the adjoining connected property to the west which would be badly affected as well if collapse of the eastern wall were to occur. This building at No 41 Glebe Point Road has numerous cracked walls as well as its façade can be seen to be on a lean towards the street. Numerous cracks in the party wall were also previously noted from inside No. 39. As the cross walls to No 39 have been removed and the new opening have destabilized the eastern wall further, if this wall were to collapse it could pull over the party wall through its connection at roof level.

We recommend that if remedial works are not carried out by the Owner immediately then Council in the interest of public safety and amenity by necessary are required to engage a suitably qualified independent Consultant to check the integrity and stability of the buildings at No 39 and No 41 but in particular the eastern wall in question.”

6. The Ambush

On 6 May 2005, Mr. Vokelatous’s Barrister and I were re listed by the registrar Mr. Berecry for referral to the Master on the 13 May 2005.

On 13 May 2005, I stood with Mr. Vokelatous’s Barrister in front of the registrar   Mr. Berecry who asked us for time estimation. 

Mr. Vokelatous’s Barrister said “40 minutes your registrar”.

On or around 12.15 PM, in the Duty Master courtroom, Mr. Vokelatous’s Solicitor Mr. Jordon Antonopoulos served me the following documents:

i           Outline of applicant’s submissions

ii          Defendants’ chronology

iii        Affidavit of Mr. Zois Voukelatos with a copy of Interim Occupation Certificate and a copy of Retail Lease Disclosure Statement.

iv        4 copies of precedents in regard to relief against forfeiture.

I was unprepared for that ambush.

Mr. Vokelatous claimed that during this time he has done a lot of work on the premises and lost a lot of money. He showed the duty master the interim occupation certificate and a signed Lease with a new tenant who is willing to pay $1000 per week. He claimed that he want to leave in the first floor of the premises with his family.

I was not granted a relief against forfeiture.