Heritage church destroyed in 10 minutes

Brian Williams
The Courier Mail Friday May 5 2006

 A RESIDENT who took photographs of a heritage-listed church at Ipswich being knocked down on Sunday said the demolition should have been stopped.  .

Gary Mulholland said Mayor Paul Pisasale and several Ipswich City Council officers were on site and should have prevented the Deen Group from demolishing the church.
  The old Presbyterian church on the comer of Mill and Church streets in Goodna was damaged in the early hours of Sunday when vandals allegedly used the daw of an excavator parked at the site to smash part of the roof and a wall.
  Cr Pisasale said when he arrived to inspect the damage he was told by a council building inspector the church could be repaired and this was conveyed to the contractors.
  But more damage was done as workmen tried to remove the excavator from the building.
   Site owner Lubo Jonic said on Monday: "The excavator was actually damaged by being jammed up in the roof and as soon as they started it up, it swung wildly to one side and
pulled the whole thing down."
   Cr Pisasale said he and council officers were ordered from the site because of safety issues. The building was then demolished.
   "It's not up to me to go and tackle people. We just had to stand there and watch it go down," Cr Pisasale said.
  Mr Mulholland said the demolition took about 10 minutes, which also took in the machine driving around the building.
  A court order was taken out on Tuesday restraining owners Lubo Jonic, Surrolle Eunice Jonic, the Deen Group and Haroom Rashid Deen from removing building material.
  Cr Pisasale said he had instructed council solicitors to take all means to ensure the church was rebuilt and if anyone had committed an offence they be prosecuted.
  Planning  and  Environment Court judge Allan Wilson yesterday ordered the interim injunction continue until June 5 when a hearing would be held.

old Presbyterian church on the comer of Mill and Church streets in Goodna