Our Aussie politicians' $300m real estate empire
WHILE many Australians can only dream of owning their own home, Toowoomba Senator Barry O'Sullivan can lay claim to owning no less than 50 properties.
A breakdown of politicians' interests by several property authors reveals Australia's 226 federal politicians have a stake in 563 properties - that's about $300 million in real estate holdings.
Mr O'Sullivan, a Landed Nationals senator, is Canberra's biggest property baron, with 49 investment, vacant land or commercial properties along with the house he calls home.
Mr O'Sullivan was a former Toowoomba homicide detective.
Billionaire Clive Palmer is high on the list with 12 properties, while Nationals MP David Gillespie has 17.
"The trends in the data suggest a sizeable majority of federal politicians have a vested interest in maintaining high housing prices, particularly since most have mortgages over their own investments," the blog Aussie Politicians and their $300 Million Property reads.
"A fall in housing prices may cause many politicians to fall into negative equity, providing a strong incentive for politicians to enact legislation which has helped fuel a housing bubble, enriching owners."