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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Salim Mehajer has opened Pandora's Box

It seems that Salim Mehajer had no idea that his ostentatious wedding would arouse such fury. He doesn't understand that showing off by throwing your money around is beyond bad taste - it's vulgar. His 'wedding of the century' extravaganza has well and truly backfired and now everyone knows that his father has been in jail.

So how did he acquire 6 companies and real estate property in Lidcombe?

Blame the state government.  In April 2012, the NSW government changed the rules and allowed councillors who are property developers to vote on broad planning regulations that directly affect their own interests. And herein lies the goose that laid the golden egg.   All they have to do is buy property they know will soon be developed, and another few million goes straight into the bank. 

We can only imagine what went on behind the scenes to bring about this change in the law.

Article from the Sun Herald today:

In June, Mr Mehajer’s company Sydney Project Group got approval for a 13-storey building with 192 units and 16 commercial units, and an investment value of $30 million in John St, Lidcombe. The original application had been for a nine-storey building of 40 apartments.
Last year he fought a decision to be suspended from council for a month for failing to declare pecuniary interests saying: “I can’t be compared to your average human”. 
The businessman had “over 30 properties to declare” and reportedly claimed there wasn’t enough space on the form for his investments.
 There is no suggestion Mr Mehajer broke any law but the 2012 change to planning rules sparked concern from politicians who claim it creates potential for a conflict of interest.
One of Mr Mehajer’s companies — SM Engineering & Construction — was wound up by the Australian Taxation Office in June 2013 because of unpaid tax. Ten days later, he registered the business SM Engineering & Construction (NSW). Other details of Mr Mehajer’s colourful past include:He was banned from serving as a councillor for a month in June 2014 after failing to make full pecuniary interest disclosures in 2012. The punishment was overturned in December 2014 and the Supreme Court stripped Mr Mehajer of three months’ council wages instead.
 NSW Fair Trading also ruled Mr Mehajer was not a “fit and proper person” to hold a building contractor’s licence in June 2014 after concerns about the answers he gave in a licence application for his former company SM NSW. The decision was later set aside and Mr Mehajer and his company were granted new contractor licences. 
“I have asked the Office of Local Government for a full report on this matter,” Local Government Minister Paul Toole said. “I’m concerned about any suggestion a councillor would use his or her position on council for personal benefit, but it’s important we wait until all the facts are known.”

But Mr Mehajer has really done us a favour, his narcissistic craving for fame has informed the public that all property developers in Sydney are currently raking it in and there's not a thing anyone can do about it.

The mind boggles.