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Australian Developer Harry Triguboff Kvetches about Slowness of Approvals

Harry Triguboff

Australia’s 6th richest man, property developer Harry Triguboff wrote an article in the Financial Review kvetching about “WhyI’m buying all of these sites.” Because it is the waiting that’s the hardest part.

He wrote, “I read in the newspapers that people are surprised at the amount of land we buy. The reason is, because it is so difficult, so tedious, to get approvals. So I have to have a big stock of land to produce between 2, 000 and 3, 000 apartments per year.”  He finds approvals in New South Wales to be much slower and more inconvenient than those in Victoria and Queensland. He added there were plans to speed up the process, but said the Labor Party got in the way.

“Nobody needs to change the whole system. All we have to do is make adjustments and make them constantly. In business, we always adjust ways to meet the market and planning of the state is no different. They must be prepared to change all the time.”

He said one misconception is that people want houses, not apartments. “That is complete nonsense, ” Triguboff wrote, “We sell more apartments than houses. People pay more for apartments than houses, and apartments are rising in prices more than houses are. The idea that people don’t want apartments needs to be knocked out of politicians’ brains once and for all.”

Well, let’s hope he doesn’t try to physically knock out any politicians brains, but Triguboff is really upset. “We are delighted that NSW construction is up 10%. But it should be up 50% if we look at what’s needed. All the time I have to argue with authorities to get projects through.”

Finally, he said we should look at those from the East for wisdom. “That is how the Chinese do it. All of the family chips in. My buyers are Chinese 20 or 25 year olds without much money who are helped by family. We should do the same.” His family may know a bit about Chinese culture, since his Russian Jewish parents fled to China to escape Lenin.

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