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Hard going for the Tkatchenkos in developing their Brisbane estate

Architect's drawing of the main building
Architect's drawing of the ornate main building with its feature cupula planned for the Tkatchenko estate


NOOSA – Papua New Guinea's sports and APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko and his wife Catherine are being frustrated by 178 pesky neighbours and the powerful city council in creating their dream estate in the Brisbane suburb of Brookfield.

The Tkatchenkos intend to build an ornate main dwelling, a three bedroom second dwelling, two pavilions, a large greenhouse, a big gym, an ornamental lake with two fountains, a 25 metre swimming pool, animal stables and a 30 aviary complex for 600 finches.

And now the saga of the property at 15 Upper Brookfield Road that they purchased for $1.77 million in 2015 has made it all the way to the courts.

The Tkatchenkos have lawyered up to fight for their rights as they struggle with Brisbane City Council over what to the naked eye is a lavish multi-million dollar transformation of the mini-estate.

Aerial view
Aerial view of the Tkatchenko estate (the area contained within the blue perimeter line)

The Brookfield property is a substantial 8.5 acres and supplements the Tkatchenko’s other $1.1m investment home in the prestigious Brisbane suburb of Fig Tree Pocket.

Journalist Robyn Ironside reported that “plans lodged with the council in 2016 proposed a 320sq m house almost 11m in height, 30 aviaries over 380sq m, plus a lake, fountain, pool and small animal stables.”

But the Tkatchenkos ran into trouble from their neighbours with 178 of them lodging objections in which they raised concerns about noise and odours from the aviaries and stables.

The buildings were also embarrassingly described as an “eyesore”, which would not have pleased the designers, local firm Argo Architects, Engineers and Master Planners.

“A seven-page submission from the community-based Rural Environment Planning Association said the scale of animal keeping was not consistent with a reasonable person’s definition of a hobby,” reported The Australian.

Mr Tkatchenko inspects the Brookfield site
Mr Tkatchenko inspects the Brookfield site

The plans were subsequently modified to reduce the number of aviaries from 30 to nine, but the council refused the development application anyway.

The eight grounds for refusal include lack of noise modelling, the height of the main building and the proposed use of animal keeping not having a direct relationship with the land.

Lawyers for the Tkatchenkos rejected the council’s reasoning in knocking back the development and the matter has now been kicked upstairs to the Planning and Environment Court.

Proceedings before the court are continuing.


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Max Phin

This is a bold "catch me if you can" statement from an out and out crook. He's been flaunting our laws left to right and now he's doing it in Australia all at our expense.

Jimmy Awagl

Crooks, cronies and fans of O'Neill sabotaging our country through their their corruption.

Leiao Gerega

.... and wow, here we are struggling here with high rentals, lousy packages and high rates of food prices ....

Phillip Nasi

He was voted into parliament in 2012. Somehow between mid 2012 and 2015 (less than 3 years) he amassed a wealth of more than $1.7 million to purchase the property at Brookfield Road.

A little bit of mathematics will show us that $1.77 million plus $1.1 million will give us $2.87 million. Plus another $3 to $5 million for the proposed development. That will give us an estimated total of $6 to $8 million in total.

How did he manage to amass all that money from his pay packet between mid 2012 and 2015?

His PNG gardening business would surely not rake in such huge amounts overtime because of the uncommercial nature of this type of business in PNG.

There needs to be an investigation into this matter to clear the air.

Daniel Kumbon

'You can never know the secret affairs of a girl until you see her walk around in public with a swollen stomach' is an old Engan saying

Mathias Kin

I wonder whether this is the people's money he is using to build his home.

Barbara Short

Obviously a dual citizen... needs a by-election.

Kenta Pora

Why PNG politicians like to build luxury homes in Australia when their people struggle to find a decent home in their own land.

Why PNG politicians send their kids to overseas schools to be educated when we have public schools in PNG where every other kid is expected to get their education.

Why PNG politicians seek medical assistance overseas when we have public hospitals in PNG where everyone is expected to seek medical assistance when they are ill.

Why PNG Politicians invest or buy properties in other countries when they cannot invest in the welfare of their own people and country.

There is something seriously wrong somewhere.

Francis Nii

I wonder where Mr PNG Gardener got all this money to buy properties in Australia. From his orchid sales?

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