The owner of the fire-damaged Saint John's Orphanage has been granted an extension to prove that he has taken steps to demolish the building.
It's the second time that Goulburn Mulwaree Council has extended the timeframe by which owner John Ferrara must bulldoze remains of the 1912 former catholic orphanage.
He originally had until January 31, 2022 to demolish the structure but under the process, he could make representations about the deadline. Environment and planning director Scott Martin said Mr Ferrara did so, resulting in a new April 25 deadline.
The matter arose again at the May 3 meeting. Mr Martin told councillors his staff had spent "the best part of a fortnight" trying to arrange discussions with Mr Ferrara's legal representative.
"We want to explore and exhaust all opportunities before we pull the pin on the next stage," he said.
"We know the council has resolved to do what needs to be done but we don't want to take ourselves down a path unnecessarily if there is a way of resolving it in the meantime."
Mr Martin was referring to a council resolution last November to commence legal action in the Local Court if the main building wasn't demolished by January 31. Councillors had initially called for the demolition in July, 2021 but upped the ante when nothing had happened at the site by November.
However the new council has tried to avoid legal action on all matters, where possible.
Mr Martin told The Post there was a differece of opinion between the two parties on where they sat legally.
A meeting occurred between council planners and Mr Ferrara's legal representatives on Monday.
A council spokesman said the orphanage owner had been granted a time extension to "prove that they (had) tried to obtain a contractor for the demolition works but (had) not been able to, due to high demand for trades."
The new date is May 25.
A further report will go to the council's June 7 meeting.
Mr Ferrara previously said he "didn't have a spare $1 million" the remains and referred to the difficulty of securing a demolition firm.
Meantime, councillors were also told that while some outer buildings had been bulldozed, in line with an earlier council order, "much of the work remained outstanding."
All structures were damaged by successive fires from 2015, including two major ones in late 2016.
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