NOVEMBER 11 2021
Transparency International Australia (TI) CEO Ms Lillywhite told the SENATE Committee:
“It has devastating impacts both in Australia and overseas and can be reasonably argued it is driving up property prices in Australia and locking many Australians out of owning their own home,”
While she noted:
-it would be difficult to track down records or documentation
“We know that we do have this gaping hole in our law, that does mean that Australia is a more attractive destination than others,” she said.
–TI has called for reforms to target Australia’s “weak” anti-money laundering (AML) regime and to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership
–AUSTRAC reaffirmed to the committee that the “use of real estate is an established method of money laundering internationally”
-and reported criminals may also renovate and improve real estate – thereby increasing the value of their properties and potentially profiting if they sell
–Australia is one of a few countries that are yet to introduce the Tranche 2 reforms to its anti-money laundering laws; including lawyers, accountants and real estate professionals
.only Australia, Haiti and Madagascar
HOWEVER the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has pushed back against the government implementing the Tranche 2 reforms.
-insisting that the changes could impose burdensome costs on 47,000-odd agencies; which could be passed on to home buyers and tenants
REIA president Adrian Kelly rejected that the cost for each Australian agency would correlate with that of New Zealand practitioners, totalling around $10,000 for Kiwi firms.
-and submitted it would be closer to $50,000 for an Australian real estate agency
The cost of an Admin Staffer annual salary for $50,000 would not be an insurmountable sum for these agencies …
A sample sales fee (agent’s commission) at 1.8% incl GST estimate for a sale at $1.8M = $32,000 … with increased commissions for sales at $2M = $36,000 and more!
Plus marketing costs for the Vendor! Amounting to $Thousands!
REAL ESTATE AGENCIES ARE TURNING OVER HOW MANY SALES WEEKLY?
SO if there is to be no implementation and enforcement of the Second Tranche of the AML LAWS at the Behest of the REIA and the Law Council of Australia what then?
… do Our Families remain locked out of Home Ownership? Do they have to wait for their Parents to die to share in the Family Home (if lucky)?
IT is apparent the MORRISON GOVERNMENT has therefore no alternative but to lock out Foreign Buyers from residential property in Australia … so why did this government exclude the real estate gatekeepers from the second tranche in October 2018?