The Small Business Party has secured its highest-profile candidate yet for this month’s NSW state election, with a senior real estate figurehead announcing his candidacy in a push to reform industry regulation and property taxes.
Gary Adamson (pictured), a director of the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW), the state’s main representative and education body for real estate agents and property professionals, announced that he would run for the state’s Legislative Council in a statement to the media.
His decision was in part influenced by a stoush with NSW Fair Trading, which he said “does not have the fundamental competencies, experience and ability to support the property service industry”.
“Property transactions always involve large sums of money and are by their very nature inherently complex. Consumers have the reasonable expectation that their service providers are properly educated, and the regulatory architecture protects them,” Mr Adamson said.
“Fair Trading, for its part pursues misguided philosophical views about the market and industry, and in doing so fails the consumer and those seeking a career in real estate practice — evident by the 80 per cent churn of professionals leaving the industry within their first 12 months.”
REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin was quoted as saying that “I can only assume that Gary’s decision to seek political office is driven by the industry’s reluctant capitulation with traditional lobbying efforts”.
“From my own coalface experience with Fair Trading, I can empathise with Gary’s frustrations,” Mr McKibbin said.
“I find it deeply disturbing when an industry wants to improve itself that its regulatory authority does all in its power to prevent it.”
Small Business Party founder and chief upper house candidate Angela Vithoulkas — who recently outlined her party’s policy approach on the My Business Podcast — said that Mr Adamson’s voice would be a boost for positive change “in the state’s biggest industry”.
“I believe his extensive knowledge and experience, both as a successful business owner and a REINSW Board member, will contribute significantly to The Small Business Party,” she said.
“Gary is advocating for the creation of a dedicated NSW Property Services Commissioner, that will work with industry, not against it. Given property is the state’s biggest industry, and employing people in numerous small businesses, Gary’s specific agenda will have my full support.”
The Labor opposition has said that it would remove property oversight from Fair Trading if it wins government at the NSW election later this month, as outlined by My Business sister publication REB (Real Estate Business).
The Small Business Party is also pushing for a “reduction in the pointless red tape, and the prescriptive nature of the legislation as it relates to the property services industry”, as well as “urgent reform” of land tax and stamp duty, saying that the rate of the latter has not been changed for 33 years.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.