41. 2009 – Supreme Court 1

Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

On 17 May 2005 Mr Voukelatos, the owner of the property at 39 Glebe Point Road, wrote to Mrs. Amanda Gorman, of the Council of the City of Sydney, to thank her for her help in obtaining the Occupation Certificate which was required for his ongoing court case with his “ex-tenant” Amir Bodenstein.

On 24 May Council’s structural engineer recommended that the certificate provided by Phillip Johnston, Consulting Engineer, be accepted as satisfactory in complying with the three terms of the Emergency Order dated 29 March 2003 on the property.

The three terms were as follows:

Term 1 required that the projects’ structural engineer submit engineering drawings specifying the proposed rectification details for the temporary shoring of the eastern wall;

Term 2 required that the temporary bracing specified be installed following acceptance by Council of above structural details; and

Term 3 required that the temporary bracing remained in place until structural works were completed.

Council’s structural engineer further considered that the certification provided by Phillip Johnston meant that the owner had met the terms and provisions of the order and it was therefore recommended that the order be removed.

It was noted for the record that three Council officers – Peter Harding, George Lim and Kevin Chahoud – had visited the property on 25 May 2005 to inspect the eastern wall there.

The “ex-tenant” Amir Bodenstein was present at that inspection and had discussed his concerns and the report on the property written by Peter Bekker, the independent structural engineer whom Bodenstein had commissioned.

Bodenstein also showed Council officers a number of photographs that he had taken and requested further information in regard to the issuance of the recent Occupation Certificate.

On 27 May Voukelatos contacted Chahoud, asking him to confirm the purpose and outcome of the inspection of the property which had just taken place. That information, he said, was required by him “for the record” and for his ongoing court case with his “ex-tenant” Bodenstein.

On 16 June Council’s Amanda Gorman wrote a memo confirming that “an application has been received for an Interim Occupation Certificate for the upgrade existing ground floor, renovate first floor unit and toilet addition at rear (excludes the use of ground floor premises and toilet addition at rear) at the subject address. Following an inspection of the premises on 5 May 2005 it is recommended that an Interim Occupation be issued”.

The Interim Occupation Certificate was approved on 9 May but due to a typing error it was later reissued.

Contents
1. Many thanks Amanda
2. Order is removed

1. Many thanks Amanda

17.05.05 Mr Voukelatos to Mrs Gorman *OQ 1, 538

Dear Amanda,

Hi, just arrived on Lefkada a day after nearly 36 hours of travel. At least its warm and sunny, heard it’s raining in Sydney since Sunday.

Our move to the first floor flat went well and I picked up the Occupation Certificate last Thursday from Karmen who was very helpful in your absence and I appreciate her help as it was required last Friday by my solicitor for the court case with our ex-tenant.


17.05.05 Mrs Gorman to Mr Voukelatos *OQ 1, 538

Hi zois

Its still raining here…

Many thanks

Amanda”

2. Order is removed

City of Sydney’s Structural Engineer recommends that the certification provided by Phillip Johnston be accepted as being satisfactory in complying with the three terms of the order.

24.05.05 Mr Chahoud Memo *OU 1, 543

“Re: Certification for Rectification Works.

Following a review of the engineering documentation submitted to Council, and the Terms of the Emergency Order (dated 29/3/04) placed on the above property (refer to Appendix A), the following is offered for your information.

Term 1 of the Order requires that the projects’ structural engineer submit engineering drawings specifying the proposed rectification details for the temporary shoring of the eastern wall. A copy of these details are attached in appendix B.

Term 2 of the Order requires that the temporary bracing specified are installed following acceptance by Council of above structural details. A copy of Council’s acceptance attached in Appendix C.

Term 3 of the Order requires that the temporary bracing remains in place until structural works are completed. A Development consent D/2004/92 and Construction Certificate B/2004/958 are in force, and upgrade works to the existing ground floor are completed (refer to Interim Occupation Certificate, Appendix D).

It is recommended that the certification provided by Phillip Johnston Consulting Engineer, be accepted as being satisfactory in complying with the terms of the order. It is further considered that the owner has met the terms and provision of the order and is therefore recommended that the order is removed.”

For the record, Amir Bodenstein comments as follows:

“During an onsite inspection with City of Sydney Officers, I provide Mr Bekker’s fourth report which recommends that a suitably qualified independent Consultant be engaged to check the integrity of the buildings and I request further information in regard to the issuance of the recent Occupation Certificate.”

25.05.05 Mr Chahoud Memo *OV 1, 544

“Record of recent site visit, in attendance were Peter Harding, George Lim, Kevin Chahoud, and Amir Bodenstein.

25.5.05

Visited site and inspected external eastern wall of building from the adjacent Council Reserve. Brief summary of works now completed to this wall was given by Kevin Chahoud to Peter Harding and George Lim.

[Previously had] met with owner of above property, who subsequently showed us through ground floor shop.

Inspecting building from inside it was still possible to view installed steel columns and beams used to support wall.

Peter Harding, George Lim, Kevin Chahous, and Amir Bodenstein.

Mr Bodenstein was contacted by Peter Harding from site, Mr Bodenstein was asked if he would like to meet on site (Mr Bodenstein had made an earlier request that Peter and George visit the site) to discuss whatever concerns he has with the works being conducted.

Issues discussed at this meeting included misalignment of the Eastern wall, its structural adequacy, trees that existed along the building that have subsequently been removed, Mr Bodenstein’s structural engineer’s report, and the applicant’s engineer.

Mr Bodenstein showed Council Officers a number of photos that he had taken.

Meeting concluded and Mr Bodenstein requesting from Council some further information regards the issuance of the recent Occupation Certificate.”

27.05.05 Mr Voukelatos to Mr Chahoud *OX 1, 546

“I understand that on 25 May 2005 you visited our property with Mr Harding and Mr Lim from Council and were satisfied with the work carried out. Could you please confirm the purpose and outcome of this inspection by return email?

I need this for two reasons – firstly for the record. Secondly, we are still in court with our ex-tenant (Mr A. Bodenstein) who I understand is still trying to convince Council that our property has structural problems. Your assistance would be appreciated.

16.06.05 Mrs Gorman Memo *OR 1, 539

“An application has been received for an Interim Occupation Certificate for the upgrade existing ground floor, renovate first floor unit and toilet addition at rear (excludes the use of ground floor premises and toilet addition at rear) at the subject address. Following an inspection of the premises on 5 May 2005 it is recommended that an Interim Occupation be issued having regarded to the following”:–

Interim Occupation Certificate *OS 1-2, 540-1

“Type of Certificate Interim Certificate – Excludes the use of ground floor premises and toilet addition at rear

Date of Approval 9 May 2005”

16.06.05 Mrs Gorman to Mr Voukelatos *OT 1, 542

“City of Sydney Council is re-issuing the interim Occupation certificate due to a typing error

We apologies for any inconvenience caused”.