PLANS ON HOLD
There’s been a hitch in the near million-dollar renos at the Mosman home of Assetz Property Group founder Ben Salmon and wife Sarah Salmon. Council planners last week knocked back their development application on the suburb’s millionaires’ row of Hopetoun Avenue. The couple proposed to reposition the swimming pool over the driveway in a bid to create more outdoor space. A plan described by architect Susan Rothwell described the build as “carefully designed … so that the works blend into the fabric of the existing streetscape”.
Too bad council planners didn’t agree. A decision handed down on Wednesday ruled: “The proposal would not be appropriate to the environmental constraints of the site and would not maintain the existing residential amenity.” Ouch.
No doubt the neighbours including Macquarie division director Mark Phipps and wife Maryanne will be relieved. A submission put forward by EDM Asset Management boss Justin McGovern on behalf of the Phipps raised concerns over the development, including its capacity to divert attention from the heritage listed home next door, the height of the pool and its imposing appearance from the street.
“Walkers on the Balmoral to Manly walk will on approach lose their view of the heritage item and instead be greeted with concrete retaining walls,” the submission read. Other concerns included a proposed lawn which would appear “like a runway” looking directly into the neighbouring property.
But with overseas trips off the cards this year – yep, even in Mosman – presumably that gives all involved more time to go back to the drawing board.
SMILES ALL ROUND
There was a momentous occasion in Western Australia last week when Marcus Solomon was appointed to the state’s Supreme Court. His ascension marks the first orthodox Jewish rabbi appointed to a Supreme Court in Australia and perhaps anywhere in the world. Like we said, a momentous occasion.
Official guests included Rabbi Daniel Lieberman, Chief Minister of the Perth Hebrew Congregation Dr Michael Levitt, Chief Medical Officer of Western Australia Shula Lazar and a roll call of the state’s highest profile dignitaries.
Also present: West Australian Bar Association president Martin Cuerden SC.
Readers are likely to recall Cuerden’s recent, high-profile spat with Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson and establishment lawyer Mark Leibler regarding free speech issues and an incendiary tweet – now retracted – by human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC which sparked outrage from Jewish community organisations.
Long story short, Leibler intervened and Cuerden – in his words – “reflected and … gained a better understanding of the impact the use of such language may have”.
But if Cuerden felt chastened at all by the slapdown, he didn’t show it on Wednesday. He appeared in fine form as he praised Solomon’s appointment – even bringing the funnies recounting a humorous story of an agricultural case where Solomon was required to cross-examine an expert witness in pig farming. “This required your Honour to understand the finer points of high-quality pork production,” he said.
Cuerden characterised Solomon as “jovial, understated, unassuming and disarming by nature while commanding the respect of all through the force of your Honour’s intellect, integrity and reputation”. He even stated in his closing remarks: “on behalf of the Western Australian Bar, mazel tov”. Smiles all around.
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