Church refuses to fork out for ‘unauthorised’ lopping

Father Tim Deeter stands behind one of the large piles of mulch he says was dumped by a tree lopper in the grounds of St Paul’s Church in Menora.
Father Tim Deeter stands behind one of the large piles of mulch he says was dumped by a tree lopper in the grounds of St Paul’s Church in Menora.

Three loads of mulch were recently dumped at St Paul’s Church on Rookwood Street, Father Tim Deeter claims, after the church refused to pay a tree lopper for what the priest says was unauthorised work.

Consumer Protection Commissioner Anne Driscoll last week named Sean Weinthal, one of three contractors the church sought for a quote on lopping for two trees, as someone consumers should very carefully consider before deciding ‘to deal with’.

Fr Deeter claimed Mr Weinthal’s company Manageable Tree Services started cutting branches off trees outside the church without authorisation, having only submitted a quote for work in July.

He said he stopped the tree lopping when workers started on a Saturday morning and later refused to pay for the services when Mr Weinthal demanded payment.

‘He threatened at that time to dump mulch on the property,’ Fr Deeter said.

Fr Deeter said mulch was dumped at the church three times over a week last month.

He expected to have to pay about $1800 for its removal, having already spent $4300 on a week’s security at the church premises to prevent further vandalism or dumping.

Mr Weinthal, who was fined $750 earlier this year for threatening to dump garden waste at a Churchlands house, is also facing charges of harassment and unconscionable conduct after a Dalkeith couple complained about threats and harassment.

Ms Driscoll said Consumer Protection was also investigating a separate dumping incident in Sorrento. She urged people with concerns about tree lopping services, or who had been threatened, to contact 1300 304 054 or consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au.