Retail billionaire Sol Lew is in increasingly hot water over his blatant and brazen theft of public land to facilitate the construction of an “infinity” or “horizon” pool at his daughter’s Mt Eliza beach-house. The Sunday Age’s Cameron Houston has reported that the Mornington Peninsula council is playing hard-ball with the billionaire crook, demanding the pool be drained immediately and that it be demolished within days.
Lew’s efforts to stone-wall the council have failed, with the latest desperate manoeuvre from the Lew crime family’s lawyers being to purchase the Crown land they illegally appropriated as their own. VEXNEWS hears the Department of Sustainability and Environment are not reacting to these approaches sympathetically.
The local councillor Mark Eustace – a passionate and patriotic crusader for the environment and residents – has set such a sly sale of land in this case would “set an ugly precedent” enabling people to buy the public land they stole when and if they got caught.
It gets better.
Lew’s attempt at PR damage-control centres on blaming the builders for failing to apply for a permit, who have not previously been identified.
VEXNEWS has learned not only that the builders involved were the well-known high-end residential construction firm Krongolds – headed by Essendon supporter Wayne Krongold – but that they vigorously deny any wrongdoing of any kind. The whole sordid story – including possibly illicit cash transactions – could emerge in a spectacular court-room farce should Lew decide to fight the council.
Industry insiders tell VEXNEWS that Krongolds will most certainly not be contributing to the enormous potential demolition and native grasses rehabilitation that Lew has been ordered to do. The well-regarded builders apparently say they were told to proceed by their client who had assured them they owned the land and were entitled to build the pool there. If you spend enough money, builders don’t ask too many questions.
The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit which occasionally and bravely reports on nefarious activities in the Construction industry, from the CFMEU using Geelong bikies on picket lines to exploring the political implications of bad union boss Bill Oliver’s bad back, has obtained troubling information about the sneaky pool operation including that the real cost of the job was more like $300,000 not the $80,000 reported by The Sunday Age.
We have also learned that scandalously neighbours in the quiet Mt Eliza Osprey Avenue precinct were duped by Lew because he had cunningly arranged a $40,000 water tank to be installed at the front of the beach-property at the same time to explain away the presence of trucks and construction workers at the site.
The nosy neighbours weren’t fooled for long and eventually reported Lew’s land theft to the authorities. Hilarity ensued.