What does the 20 December 2020 Chat with HT mean for Australia?

CAAN has selected and highlighted some of Harry’s comments from this interview … it might be a good idea to reflect on how this influence has impacted our lives … where we live … and particularly the living standards and losses for our families …

HT said:

‘Years ago we were very scared of having shops under the apartments because there was no demand for shops, but now shops are in high demand. …’

CAAN:  Why is this so?  Who created this demand for shops included in apartment developments?

Until the Pandemic in 2020 up to 100% residential apartments (including those of HT) were sold to overseas buyers … particularly from China …

Meanwhile we have shops closing down in the Westfield and other like shopping centres … why?

These mixed-use high-rise residential apartment precincts can only be described as a blight on what were Sydney’s beautiful bushland landscapes … think of North Ryde … Epping … Wahroonga … Macquarie Park …

Q:  ‘ Reflecting on Job Keeper and Home Builder, the two government grants, do you think they should have been extended to apartment developers rather than just land developers?

A. ‘Definitely yeah they should be, but they helped us a bit; not enough.  The big problem is that the stamp duty is paid on the whole unit with the land, but the stamp duty is paid only on the land for the cottage. 

And our (Meriton) particular problem is that we depend a lot upon overseas people

.we need migrants

.migrants coming to the city

.students coming to the city

.these are the two that don’t arrive so that’s why our section of the market has suffered more.’

CAAN:  There you have it from Harry, a recipient of an Order of Australia.  Other recipients may have given meritorious service to this Nation, but it would seem here it is a case of personal ‘achievement’ … even self-interest $Billions perhaps?

A developer of highrise precincts constructed specifically for the foreign buyer market … and hence high immigration

Q.  ‘Since the start of the Pandemic you made a point of ensuring that you were a visible presence here in the Meriton Head Office and your staff were coming in as well.

How important do you think that was that you were here and that your staff were here rather than working from home?’

A. ‘Working from home is nonsense, and I am very disappointed that it has been done. I don’t think Australians were ever too keen on working.*  

I don’t mean it as an insult. 

I mean that’s the way they are, and once you show them that they can work from home you mix them up, and I hope that they will come back to work, and they will work as well as before, but we will see.’

CAAN:  Is this how Harry and his ilk spin the myth that Australians are not good workers?  Perhaps a useful tool to seek out Visa workers and pay them below Award wages with the lure of ‘Permanent Residency’?   To buy his apartments, as Gerry’s fridges and washing machines fly off the floor perhaps?

In fact there have been reports that productivity rose with people working from home. 

Q.  You mentioned immigration and tourism earlier.  How important is it that the Government open up the borders sooner rather than later, the international borders, do you think?

A.  ‘I like that everybody else I think is to have normal situation.  A normal situation in this country with migrants has been from the first day.  We are all migrants … now. 

When we stop it then it causes changes then we have to adjust so really the sooner we can have the migrants back, and the sooner we can have the students back the better.

But I’m not running the country.  They know what they’re doing.

My opinion on this is no stronger than anyone else I just say what I feel.’

CAAN:  Harry has already stated that with the borders being closed due to the Pandemic that the residential apartment market has suffered.  And that his market has suffered due to the migrants and students not coming.

It would appear that his opinions have held more sway with Governments than the constituents objecting for years now to high immigration because where they live has been destroyed by overdevelopment particularly with high rise precincts, and concurrently with the increased foreign competition for Australian housing, prices escalated locking Australian First Home Buyers out!

And the alleged ‘progress’ has meant the loss of many of our low-rise villages, heritage, bushland, thousands of trees chopped for the tentacles of toll roads and toxic tunnels and stacks, with schools, trains and buses all full-up!  The loss of playgrounds for demountable classrooms … FFS!

Q.  What effect do low interest rates having on the property market, and how are you finding sales and leasing activities across your portfolio?

A.   ‘Huge, huge effect because the problem was our main buyers were Chinese*, and they are now non-existent.  So I was very worried actually, but what happened was the low rates of interest came in and the Government was helping people besides that, and that overcame the problem of the Chinese.*

So we are very happy about that.  But we still didn’t overcome the problem of the investors.  We have to help them too if we want investors.’

CAAN:  Was the Morrison Government in 2020 now beginning to fulfill its role of enabling Australian citizens to buy a home? … Wow!  Rather than maintaining visa manipulation with foreigners buying our real estate and gaining permanent residency …

-however the real estate gatekeepers remain exempt from Anti-Money Laundering Laws

-it appears that the onshore ‘Proxy’ is still in attendance at house auctions …

Q.  What are your thoughts on the Build-to-Rent sector?

A.  ‘I think that the intention is very good, but it doesn’t seem to work out.  If I build I must keep it for 15 years, or I can find somebody who will buy the whole development, and then if I want to sell it after 15 years they have to approve my plans so I don’t think that they would like it.

If they want to do it I say we should only keep it say for five years, and we don’t have to get any approvals afterwards.  They have to approve it before I build quickly and that’s I think then it will work

But the main thing is not how they legislate, the main problem is that the rents have not gone up, and so the investor is not as keen to buy as he would have been if the rents were going up.’

CAAN:  Our understanding is that ‘Build-to-Rent’ is going ahead.  From the perspective of our youth seeking housing we hope that the rents will continue to be more affordable allowing the tenant to save a deposit for a home down the track. 

Perhaps it is time the investor sector looked at the lowest wages growth for 60 years in Australia?

Then rent increases if proportional could be justified?

Currently the rental market in Australia is largely owned by those like Meriton and family landlords with tenants having little or no security of tenure.  It would seem that with such landlords that is the way they like it …

Q.  Now you were born in China.  How do you evaluate the Australia/China relationship at the moment?

A.  ‘We must remember one thing that Chinese people love Australia.  They love Australia probably more than we do.  Very important to know that.  Not the government – I’m not talking about them.  They play politics that’s a different story.

I don’t know if they love or hate, that’s just politics ….

Don’t worry about it but the people love it because they went to a lot of trouble to buy apartments here, and they did it even when there was no profit they just want to have some property, something here so that’s why I know that they believe in this country.  In my opinion that’s the main thing the rest is detail.’

CAAN:  Why wouldn’t the Chinese love Australia?  With so many special benefits dating back to the Howard Years! 

‘Middle Class’ Chinese were lured by the prospect of investing in Australian homes and/or education to gain ‘Flexible Citizenship’

Then in the early 2000s there was a Housing Boom in Australia …

By the time of the 2007 Election the Howard Government had doubled the permanent migrant intake … 

Migration Agents, visa manipulation, and highrise precincts too have become a growth industry

This high immigration largely from China in fact facilitated, it would appear, the spread of the CCP

onshore … with high-rise precincts Sydney-wide on all major transport routes, and into our regions … they even own some of our regional airports and pilot schools!

Q.  What would you say  is the biggest challenge facing the Meriton business today?

A.  ‘The biggest challenge is the changes now I always like apartments so why I like apartments against cottages because apartments lend themselves to leasing, cottages don’t lend.  You have a cottage and the upkeep is great, and the people are by themselves and they don’t know what to do, and all that.

Generally, I like housing because the Government cannot allow housing to collapse.  So I have a very good partner, the Government, can’t get a better partner than that, and then I have a second partner, the Banks.  The Banks can’t allow property, the residential property to drop so with these two partners I can face the World.’

The Interview – Harry Triguboff AO

Posted by Development Ready on Dec 20, 2020

VIEW:

https://www.developmentready.com.au/video-blog/harry-triguboff-interview

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Despite the Evidence of Norway’s Smart Economy …

AND many of us are aware that the Australian economy has become too dependent on population growth at the expense of a focus on productivity.  Bob Carr has warned of this no doubt in response to what is again emerging.

Search for this article ‘Less is More for a Smarter Economy’ published in ‘The Australian’ 21 December 2020 yet not shared on the Facebook of ‘The Australian’ … hm …

However, following on 22 December three advocates for high immigration were interviewed in this article also in The Australian, ‘Australia needs a policy refresh to support higher fertility’ … and shared on The Oz Facebook … hm …

Dr Liz Allen

Dr Shane Geha

Prof Peter McDonald

SEARCH CAAN Website to learn more about them!

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress.com/

Why do such media outlets seem to favour this trio?

What is all this about?  Hm?

Is it highrise?  The talk is that SydneySiders are moving out of apartment living in Sydney, and have found that they are now paying less off a loan on a house.  For some it is less than they were paying in rent! 

And apartments have fallen out of favour with all the bad press about defective developments and the fear of towers toppling let alone those built on toxic sites … 

And now with COVID-19 they resented being locked in these cellsare HT and UT mates trying to keep a lid on this?

This it seems came about when people were working from home 2 – 3 days a week, and were prepared to commute the other days.

Unfortunately for FHBs due to the increased competition for housing outside of Sydney it too has become more expensive in the last few months

It is all in the Maths, with most loans based on a 10% deposit.  If an apartment is costing $800K (or more)  then buyers need $80K + legals + stamp duty etc.

Whereas a home away from Sydney costs $600K, $60K for the deposit plus the other costs.  And apartments cost about the same as the houses outside of Sydney, or a little more expensive in more desirable areas.

Looks like the Morrison Government and Berejiklian Government are busting to get all 29,000 Aussies home so that they will then bring in the migrants (foreign buyers) with HT and his mates starting to feel the pressure from the demand for highrise having fallen;  rents have fallen …

Harry’s lot want the gates open so they can get back to selling off Australia … let’s face it he has had it all his way for a decade with no real wages growth, endless supply of foreign buyers, less regulations, lower standards, pollies in his corner, the Greater Sydney Commission doing what they can for his ilk

It’s been a feast … so is it any wonder the sector push is on for ‘A Big Australia’ following the issue of the guvment’s first population statement.

From the commentators it is obvious why there has been a fall in fertility with:

-the lowest wages growth for more than 60 years

-thus the inability to save for a home deposit while paying rent

-inadequate income to meet the cost of day care, a mortgage and day to day living expenses

the long delay to start a family rendering couples childless

-proven that high immigration and thus competition for housing has pushed up housing costs and suppressed wage growth

-Australia is reliant on the export of its finite resources

.with a bigger population this dilutes our per capita export earnings

migrants age too!

-Japan and some European countries have older populations yet enjoy higher per capita GDP growth than Australia

WHY was there a focus on drawing migrants from the PRC?  Apart from a source of 1.4 Billion people …

-the Shanghai Bank; shadow banking

-hot money laundering (aka black money) in our real estate; aided by the Onshore Proxy

-the development of a vast range of Visas including:

.family, student, PhD Student, investor stream, Significant Investor, grandparent, guardian, and Permanent Residency upon real estate purchase … even online overseas!

-the successful Australian First Home Buyers have been saddled with massive debt

WHY is the Australian economy being run contrary to the benefit of Australians?  Cough … cough … one only has to gaze at the AFR Rich Lists … and the developer lobby largely represented in the first 200 …

About Poverty in Australia …

‘I was listening to an ABC Radio National broadcast on AM 576 on Thursday 22 October about poverty in Australia …

Unfortunately not been able to locate an audio or article

However, there are numerous reports concerning POVERTY IN AUSTRALIA … more than 3 MILLION Australians are living below the Poverty Line!

Anglicare has found there are 106 job seekers for every entry level job!

Foodbank Australia Report 2020 found we have not yet reached peak hunger in the Covid-19 Crisis

View:

https://antipovertyweek.org.au/

THIS is what is happening in contrast to the continuing reports of excess and rorts … corruption …

ACCORDING to the latest figures from the charitable sector e.g. FOODBANK more than 800,000 people in Australia are going hungry and have sought assistance in recent weeks.

Charities are at crisis levels, they are struggling as never before.

Meanwhile there are a host of ideologs and others calling for more migrants; that things are stagnating without them.

If we ever had doubts about the accuracy of this argument surely it is now!

Let’s test the idea migration is driver of all good and growth and more growth

Are we accounting for all the cost of:

-overseas staff and local staff
-interviews and assessment by Australian officials?

-transportation, initial accommodation
-liaison, orientation, language classes
-assistance provided at various levels

Ok they pay fees, thousands of dollars but it costs thousands for the process to take place

Ok it employs a lot of people and it’s become an industry with clout, maybe this is a reason why the pollies see it as synonymous with eternal growth!

-the Migration Alliance has more than 4000 members (of migration agents) to muscle

SO what to do about this?

We could be smart, or we could stick with ideological driven practices of the past.

But unlike the past Australia is faced with circumstances never experienced before!


At this time in the short modern history of this land we have:


drought or at best post drought conditions
-post bush fire conditions
-more frequent effects of climate change

a Pandemic

a Recession

-trade tensions instigated by a totalitarian nation that is the biggest player in our region
-higher unemployment
-over stretched charities

The list goes on …


And our politicians vote to give subsidies to businesses to employ younger workers

.to promote a false reality of equality when their ‘recovery’ package is largely directed to assisting those industries overwhelmingly dominated by male workers

(their defensive response is women can drive on the roads and so on, it’s so pathetic and patronising)

So given we have some understanding of how things are really happening out there, in the streets, in the suburbs, in the towns and in the countryside opportunities could exist to do things differently!

What is needed … a bit of creativity would help.

IT is about future proofing

Why can’t we. as a nation have (not in any order). and there’s plenty more good ideas out there, by no means an extensive list here but worth considering…

-a post office bank to offer real competition to the big 4 banks

-community (public) housing, from land acquisition to construction to management and use

-communities with small to medium scale solar and wind farm power generation all over the country (as elsewhere)

-community based general recycling plants and waste water recycling

-space allocated for community gardens

electric vehicle recharging networks integrated to solar and wind power generation

-national policies and funding to eliminate all sorts of road intersections to save on emissions and improve efficiencies

-tackle risk and ameliorate coastal erosion and shoreline inundation with ongoing programs that relocate infrastructure, build more resilient landscapes and bolster the built environment defences needed with the effects of climate change,. e.g. taking as much as possible of the electricity network underground

nation-wide reforestation/salt reduction programs

-repurpose all sorts of materials and resources so that waste is a mere shadow of what it is now

And a lot more…

Why is it so hard, so readily ridiculed, that the only way to see progress is persisting with the concept of the growth economy when it is known it is a falsehood!

WHEN We looked at News Videos of the Maguire ICAC Hearing …

The reports we had seen on the news only featured Scott Robertson ICAC Assisting Counsel, examining.

However the camera then crossed to Arthur Moses SC seated there, and we were wondering what role he had in this inquiry?

We now see that Arthur Moses SC was there representing Gladys Berejiklian!

This is interesting … what a tangled web of property developers, real estate gatekeepers, the Law Council of Australia, and MPs … because back in February 2019 a report appeared in the Australian Financial Review that REAL ESTATE AGENTS with the backing of the LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA were able to weasel their way out of the Anti-Money Laundering legislation allegedly on the basis that imposing the full AML/CTF (the second tranche of the AML Laws) may create conflicts with the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality and the principle of client professional privilege!

‘President of the Law Council of Australia Arthur Moses, SC, said their profession was already extensively regulated by the states and territories under a comprehensive and robust regulatory system.

“The Law Council is concerned that imposing the full AML/CTF regulatory regime may create conflicts with the lawyer’s duty of confidentiality and the principle of client professional privilege, as well as increasing the cost of legal services to the community,” he said.’

At the time CAAN asked these questions …

WHY is it with the purchase of real estate there should be some difference compared to buying or selling a vehicle, why is it different?

Why is it difficult to apply laws to the purchase of real estate?

Why is that compromising a lawyer? Why should real estate be any different to any other matter?

If there are laws governing real estate so be it. It should not make any difference to a lawyer. If lawyers have a matter before them that involves a crime they have two choices:

-do it for their client knowing their risk

-not do it

View: ‘Labor to Target Lawyers, Accountants, Real Estate Agents’

https://www.afr.com/companies/labor-to-target-lawyers-accountants-real-estate-agents-20190224-h1bnd3

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Australian Property Market talked up Overseas by Online Pundits

WHAT we at CAAN gathered from this article is that:


-it tried to be a bit upbeat, refraining from being negative
-is it trying to have an each-way bet?
-includes some contrasting stats; that indeed there is some downturn in activity

IT states the bleeding obvious, that little stands in the way of foreigners buying up our real estate

-that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with foreigners buying up Australia
-it also makes sure there is some optimistic spin included … to give their readers something to look forward to, to keep the dream alive

BUT what we got from it was the recognition that:


-prices are indeed influenced by the purchasing demand of foreigners hence the reason why we all pay more to live in our own country

-asian buyers are, and ought to be the focus for locals wanting to sell

AND the other part that is of concern is:


-how short sighted is it?
-the article failed to recognise or acknowledge the housing issues AUSTRALIANS are struggling with right now
-that social housing is greatly under-supplied
-that we are indeed in a different space and time since COVID came along; many in the business world seem to be stuck in chanting the tune of getting back to where we were

HOWEVER if things haven’t changed for the foreseeable future then those running airlines like Cathay Pacific must be wrong … they having announced the axing of thousands of jobs, like dozens of US and European carriers

Reality is things have changed, and these pundits just want things to go back to the way they were

WELL, it may suit them, but it may not suit a lot of others.

IS the growth economy here forever? Maybe they need to think again.

Read more!

https://www.brokernews.com.au/news/breaking-news/australias-reputation-amongst-foreign-investors-soars-273777.aspx

AUSTRAC BOSS says Real Estate Gatekeepers should report Money Laundering in Property

‘Lawyers, accountants and real estate agents should report suspicious activity’ … that’s what the AUSTRAC boss said. 

SO what is the problem? Why is this not in force?

Commentator Thucydides wrote:

‘The “government’s” own department estimates the amount of “hot” money being laundered through the Australian property market at $36 BILLION a year…..

(think about that for a while, FIRST HOME BUYERS)

Mostly through Lawyers, Accountants and Real Estate Agents….. who have miraculously managed to avoid being included in the AML legislation for the last eight years, despite Australia being legally obliged to include them by International Treaty.

Must be a simple coincidence that they would also be overwhelmingly donors to the Liberal Party… ‘

Could that be why the Morrison Government … cough … cough … is still considering whether to introduce the Second Tranche of the Anti-Money Laundering Laws having exempted these gatekeepers back in October 2018?

Read more!

+https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/lawyers-accountants-and-real-estate-agents-should-report-suspicious-activity-austrac-boss-20201020-p566ng.html#comments

The PCA … the Property Council … encouraged by Qld LIBs Build-To-Rent enticements!

Read and reflect on what this will mean …

IF the Liberals were to win the imminent Queensland election having given the undertaking that they will administer a 75% CUT TO LAND TAX, and grant FOREIGN BUYER TAX EXCLUSIONS FOR BUILD-TO-RENT developments, what will that cost? What will it mean for:

-aspiring Australian First Home Buyers?

.cast aside by preferential treatment for those with ‘hot money’ to launder

-Australian developers and hence their Australian clients?

AND these benefits even outstrip those of the Liberal NSW Government 50% Build-to-Rent land tax discount  …

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/07/30/nsw-inc-to-give-developers-50-land-tax-discount-for-build-to-rent/?fbclid=IwAR0frzrdbfU0O6G4oT9yVnUIO-qfRxP8lotjpWALNLnEkOpUjB_0Z2R5nxg

WHERE can you see this going?

Could it be that also in NSW aspiring Australian FHBs will be drowning in a housing market flooded with investors buying up homes for rental redevelopment?

Knocking the ‘Australian Dream’ on its head … with the aspirants stymied by the emergence of a feudal life-long tenancy regime …

READ MORE! THEN SHARE … especially with your Queensland contacts!

https://bit.ly/2IlhIOx

CHINA’S RISLAND scores $30.8 M in Wollondilly Land Sales

RISLAND formerly known as ‘COUNTRY GARDEN’ gained renown and set the precedent with its first High-Rise Residential Apartment Precinct in North Ryde whereby the locals were robbed of having their say as it was all fait accompli …..

‘Ryde Garden’ towers over the district … forever spoiling the bushland vistas …

Currently RISLAND’S dealings with disgraced Liberal MP Daryl Maguire are being further investigated by ICAC … and now together with Walker Corporation having sold these lots in 3 weeks it is ready to launch its $1.5 B master planned community ‘Wilton Greens’ in Wilton in the Wollondilly Shire.

How come this Chinese developer remains in Australia?

Why did Walker Corporation … Lang Walker … partner with Risland … Country Garden?

The lots have cost between $239,000 and $372,500 ranging from 275 to 540 sqm.

Company management alleges that buyers come from the local area and the Greater Sydney region. How likely is it that there are Proxy Buyers among them?  Or online perhaps through Juwai enabling these foreign buyers to gain Permanent Residency … ?

Risland … Country Garden … 2 years ago launched its Windemere Estate in Mambourin, Victoria and this in Wilton is the company’s first major master planned community for NSW.

Risland is counting on the NSW and Morrison Governments for the infrastructure with the redevelopment of Campbelltown Hospital, transport, NBN fibre to the home, a new town centre and new schools

But what will this mean for other communities?

AND, of course, the impact of such development on the rural landscape, the destruction of Koala habitat, with the local community to be confronted by another 12,000 inhabitants …

READ MORE!

https://bit.ly/3ddoiBT

Another 10 Thousand Places added to Morrison Govt First Home Loan Scheme …

10 THOUSAND PLACES ADDED TO GUBMINT’S FIRST HOME LOAN SCHEME

BUT how can that be enough? 

THE AUSTRALIAN:  Budget 2020: New homes key to our lost population

WELL … WELL … there you have it in the Headline!

BECAUSE … High Immigration and Permanent Resident Visa Manipulation have locked out Australian First Home Buyers …

SUCH Permanent Residency Visa lure has drawn hundreds of thousands of overseas home buyers since the late 1990s when the Howard Government made changes to our Immigration Policy for the Chinese Middle Class to invest in our education and real estate to gain “flexible citizenship”

AND since then the vast range of Visas offering Permanent Residency when Temporary Visa Holders bought our ‘new homes’ …

SUCH INFLUX rendered aspiring Australian FHBs locked out … by the overseas competition and ‘hot money’ to boot ….

TONIGHT on the ABC NEWS Jason Clare, Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, was interviewed … but sadly no transcript or video can be found! 

THE GIST of what he had to say was that this was nowhere near enough … a mere extra 10,000 FHBs eligible for a home loan with a 5% deposit  … he said compare that to the support given by Labor following the GFC …

FURTHER that all aspiring First Home Buyers should be given the benefit … not a mere extra 10 thousand!

SO why only an additional 10,000 places for a scheme allegedly designed to make it easier for first home buyers to purchase a home with a 5 per cent deposit?

WHAT other Plan does the Federal Government along with the MBA, the PCA, the UT, the UDIA, and the Property Investor Lobby Groups have waiting in the wings?

WITH their appetite whet for more?

WHEN concrete form workers are atop the BRW Rich List … is this about ‘wealth envy’?

IS this about this Cohort boosting their coffers through Build-to-Rent? Will it be a modern day feudal system … rendering a whole Cohort of young Australians to become life-long tenants, is that what this is about?

OR will the Morrison Government ensure that the avenue will be there for

tenants to purchase a home?

READ a little more from the ABC:

https://ab.co/34mvyYc

Had you heard that HT sacked his Group General Counsel?

‘A former lawyer for Meriton Property Services is suing one of the country’s richest men, billionaire Harry Triguboff, and the company, alleging he was sacked because he refused to lie in an affidavit.

The company’s former group general counsel Joseph Callaghan is suing for $556,500 in compensation plus penalties, claiming he was fired from his $350,000-a-year job by the 87-year-old property developer earlier this year because he refused to exaggerate the time it took for the City of Sydney council to approve one of Meriton’s buildings.’

Read more!

https://www.commercialrealestate.com.au/news/sacked-lawyer-sues-billionaire-harry-triguboff-959345/

THEN it appears to have gotten nastier … in an AFR Report on 3 July 2020 when HT hit back at his former lawyer to then claim that Callaghan was sacked because of ‘ineptitude’ for the job … despite having gotten HT out of bother a number of times previously over four years … even with the NSW Premier …

Read more!

https://www.afr.com/property/commercial/harry-triguboff-strikes-back-at-former-lawyer-20200702-p558gn

THIS MATTER WAS HEADED FOR THE COURT END OF SEPTEMBER 2020 … HOWEVER …

It was reported on 19 August  … HT & HIS COMPANY MERITON SETTLED WITH FORMER GROUP GENERAL COUNSEL

Now it is alleged it was all a misunderstanding …

BUT had the General Counsel had enough?  Was it a bridge too far this time?

View the link to find out more … what did this former legal adviser collect?