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A wall collapse that killed three people in Melbourne has now attracted more than half a million dollars in fines for those involved.

A Melbourne sign company which erected an advertising board on a wall that fell and killed three people on Swanston Street in 2013 has been fined $250,000.

Sandringham firm, Aussie Signs, was hired to install a 3.2-metre high billboard at the Grocon building site in Melbourne in late 2011.

In March 2013, high winds were recorded in Melbourne and the timber billboard and the brick wall it was attached to fell onto the footpath on Swanston Street.

Judge David Parsons said the breach by the company was one of the most serious kind.

In an earlier hearing, the court heard that neither Grocon — which was in charge of the building site — nor Aussie Signs had sought a safety or structural assessment to determine the structural integrity of the wall, which was built in 1971 and was exposed to the elements.

They also failed to get a building permit for the sign, and had done no tests to determine what impact winds would have on the wall.

Timeline:

  • 2008: The old Carlton and United Breweries site is bought, most of the former buildings have already been demolished
  • The wall, constructed in 1971, was left free-standing
  • 2011: The Grocon company gives Aussie Signs the green light to attach advertising hoarding
  • A subcontractor, Jonathan Westmoreland, engaged to attach cladding, with Aussie Signs overseeing installation
  • March 2013: The wall collapses, killing three people
  • November 2014: Grocon Victoria Street Pty Ltd fined $250,000
  • May 2015: Westmoreland fined $7,500
  • Feb 2016: Aussie Signs Pty Ltd fined $250,000

Published By: ABC  on 4 Feb 2016

 

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