Taj on Swan: demolition crews ready to begin knocking down $70m mansion


Capital’s David Markham, Chris Farrar and Mark Kipping are ready to tear down The Taj. Picture: Jon Bassett
Capital’s David Markham, Chris Farrar and Mark Kipping are ready to tear down The Taj. Picture: Jon Bassett

CONCRETE and bricks will become road base, and overgrown plants and weeds mulched after demolishers swing their first hammer at the derelict $70 million Oswal mansion in Peppermint Grove on Monday.

“The City of Canning is a major buyer of our recycled demolition waste, so potentially the mansion could end up in one of their roads or any carpark or hardstand,” demolition contractor Capital Recycling general manager David Markham told Community Newspaper Group today .

Peppermint Grove Council is paying about $100,000 to bring the mansion down on the prime riverside superblock that has become a danger, attracting trespassers and partygoers, graffiti vandals, and is an eyesore in Perth’s wealthiest suburb.

The large building’s removal will end a six-year saga that started when former Pilbara fertiliser magnates Pankaj and Radhika Oswal left Australia with the mansion incomplete.

Earlier this year, the council obtained State Administrative Tribunal approval to demolish the mansion if the Oswals did not restart construction before October 1.

The demolition will be the polar opposite of the complicated legal proceedings recently between the Oswals and the ANZ Bank over loans for the collapsed fertiliser plant, which ended with a confidential settlement and the couple leaving Australia again last week.

“In terms of demolition it will be reasonably simple because it’s just concrete and brick,” Capital project manager Chris Farrar said.

The mansion is expected to produce about 3700 tonnes of building waste during work lasting two to three weeks by five men in their two excavators between 7am and 4pm.

To avoid traffic disruptions, trucks hauling the waste will use a pre-arranged route from Stirling Highway, along Irvine Street, View Terrace, Keane Street, and out of the suburb on Bayview Terrace and Glyde Street.

Acting council chief executive Paul Rawlings said the Oswals had recently signed deeds acknowledging the demolition’s cost and $106,000 in allegedly owed rates, and negotaitions would determine both payments once the ANZ settlement was complete.

“Otherwise, we’ll have to pursue it in the courts,” Mr Rawlings said.