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Pizza restaurant ignores shut-down order despite flammable cladding risk

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A pizza restaurant in Sydney’s north has ignored a stop-work order despite serious safety concerns over flammable cladding at the property.

Earlier in the week, a listener contacted Ray Hadley with concerns about Mercato e Cucina, operating out of an apartment building on Victoria Road, in Gladesville.

There are 32 apartments in the building and the restaurant on the ground floor has a wood-fired pizza oven, with a hot exhaust right up against the flammable panels.

Ray Hadley contacted NSW Better Regulation Minister Kevin Anderson who intervened and a stop-work order was issued by Ryde Council yesterday.

An independent fire engineer found the oven to be an “extreme risk” last year and the council ordered the owner to move the oven by February, an order they ignored.

A listener, and one of Ray’s producers, has been able to confirm the restaurant is still open and using the pizza oven.

A lawyer contacted Ray Hadley last night, claiming the owner, who is also a solicitor, only took over management in January but council documents show he was contacted in November about the safety risk.

“You’ll get pimples on your tongue if you tell lies,” Ray says.

“It’s irresponsible in the extreme!”

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Minister Anderson says “it’s unbelievable”.

“SafeWork will go back in there today to talk again to the owner.

“This bloke has been mucking everyone around since September, and if this bloke doesn’t do what he’s meant to be doing then Ryde Council has to step in and close him down.”

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Image: Google Maps