Balance Architecture and Interior Design wish all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

At Balance, we are in the middle of a very busy phase. Apart from the main public holidays of Christmas (25th of Dec), Boxing Day (26th of Dec) and New Years Day (1st of January), we are contactable via email or via phone per our normal contact details.

By way of a Christmas gift, we revisit the current status of the Corkman Hotel fiasco in Carlton. The magistrate presiding indicated he would have jailed the developers Mr Raman Shaquiri and Stefce Kutlesovski if he had the power to do so.


Final moments of the Corkman Hotel

Take the time to read this full report of their September Court appearance courtesy of the ABC.

Developers accused of demolishing Corkman Irish Pub sentenced for dumping asbestos


Asbestos riddled debris from the Corkman Irish Pub was dumped in a vacant lot in Cairnlea

A magistrate says he would have jailed two Melbourne developers if he had the power to, after they pleaded guilty to dumping asbestos from an illegally demolished historic pub near homes and a childcare centre.

Developers Raman Shaqiri and Stefce Kutlesovski were each fined $120,000 for failing to securely contain asbestos-riddled debris at the site of the demolished Corkman Irish Hotel in inner-city Carlton, and for then dumping it in Cairnlea, in Melbourne’s north-west.

The developer’s company, 160 Leicester Pty Ltd, was fined a further $300,000.

In sentencing, magistrate Richard Pithouse told the Sunshine Magistrate Court the men’s “cavalier disregard for the law” meant they should go to jail, but the legislation did not allow it.

“You don’t know how close you came to jail,” Magistrate Pithouse said.

“If jail were available, I would impose imprisonment for such a blatant breach.”

He said the exposed asbestos in Carlton and Cairnlea put the community at substantial risk.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a shopping bag full or a spec,” he said.

The magistrate also slammed Mr Kutlesovski for his behaviour in the court, telling him: “I wouldn’t be sitting rubbing your chin so smugly as you are today.”

“I hope everyone knows your name,” he continued.

“You think you’re above the law, but you are not.”


The Corkman Irish Hotel, which was popular with students, was destroyed without a permit.

The EPA welcomed the fine.

“The directors and the company in this case have shown blatant disregard for the environment, for public health, for community safety,” CEO Cathy Wilkinson said.

“It’s unacceptable [and] EPA Victoria puts on notice illegal dumpers.

“Victorians want polluters, want people who do the wrong thing, held to account.

“We don’t want asbestos uncontrolled in the environment, it needs to be dealt with appropriately.”

She would not say if the men should have been jailed.
Historic pub illegally demolished and never rebuilt

The pub, formerly known as the Carlton Inn Hotel, stood on the corner of Pelham and Leicester streets in Carlton for 159 years, but was demolished in October of 2016.

Three days later, the Environmental Protection Authority noted that the debris on site could contain asbestos.

A sample was tested and confirmed the authority’s suspicion.

The developers were ordered to cover the debris, but five days later a pile of rubble was found at Cairnlea, opposite residential homes and only 350 metres from a childcare centre.


The pub in 1957, when it was known as the Carlton Inn Hotel

A brick in the rubble with a City West Water serial number on it confirmed the materials had come from the site of the Corkman Irish Pub.

The developers also failed to ensure the debris at the Carlton site was adequately covered, with the tarpaulin found to be ripped or unstuck and blowing in the wind on numerous occasions.

The developers had promised to return the pub to its former glory but this did not happen.

Mr Shaqiri and 160 Leicester Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in May to knocking down the Corkman Irish Pub.

Mr Kutlesovski is fighting the charges and will face a four-day hearing in January.


Mr Kutlesovski will be appearing in court to face further individual charges in January as for some inexplicable reason (which however it must be said is his right) he has decided to plead not guilty to the charges.

His fellow Developer MR Shaquiri and their joint company have pleaded guilty back in May to knocking down the pub. We will keep you posted as to any further developments. At this point no attempt has been made to fulfil the order requiring the full restoration of the Corkman Hotel to its original state.

By way of contrast we now cast our gaze in the direction of Adelaide – its West End of the city to be exact.


Here we visit another Hotel, an older pub facing demolition, not as with the Corkman by stealth, but rather with the blessings of the South Australian Government. The Marshall Government is somewhat gung-ho pro-development so this glorious hotel, which first opened its doors in 1837, now faces demolition for potential ‘student accomodation’ – another tower.

For many years the ‘Eddie’ as it was affectionately known was the central venue for Adelaide’s Gay and Lesbian community.

But to give it its proper title, The Edinburgh Castle Hotel is a prime example of early colonial architecture and construction in Adelaide. With precise masonry using selected local stone, hand made bricks, iron lace work, at a guess the building originally would have featured a slate roof. With ornate chimneys, dentils, curved brick window surrounds and doors in feature brick, this was a building meant to last.


It is now outside of the province of the South Australian Planning Minister to nominate the building for a State Heritage Listing. This can be accomplished by simply anyone nominating the building to the South Australian Heritage Council. To date no-one has!

What it will take in the end is someone willing to put up about $3 million. The big question is will they get a return on their investment. Or will they purchase with a bigger picture in mind – preservation

One could surmise that such an original property, part of Adelaide’s early history is entirely worthy of preservation. If you so agree you can sign this petition to the South Australian Planning Minister Mr Stephen Knoll.

View the Help Save the Edinburgh Castle Hotel petition here

Right now Adelaide is suffering from the destruction of many of its older and more iconic buildings in the name of ‘Development’. Beautiful crafted buildings are being replaced by bland nondescript towers.


Even in the ‘City of Churches’ – churches are not sacrosanct. The Maughan Church, an extraordinary building is gone, demolished to make way for a 20 storey $80 million development.


Putting it simply – it has to stop. Adelaide was the first entirely ‘free settlement’ in Australia. It was graced with capital and wealth by its earliest inhabitants. At the current rate of destruction there, it’s likely that historians will find it difficult to make a case that the settlement commenced prior to 1880.

Heritage has real value. It is who we are and where we have come from. It is imperative that we protect it.

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Balance Architecture recognises the importance of the preservation of Historical Architecture. We specialise in the renovation and restoration of Heritage Buildings. For further information on Balance Architecture’s services or to make an appointment for a free consultation, please click here or call 0418 341 443.

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