Mr Waterfront Mansion wants you to live like a battery chook

By Leith van Onselen

Domain has published a drivelling article celebrating ‘Highrise’ Harry Triguboff’s rise to becoming Australia’s second richest person living in one of Sydney’s biggest waterfront mansions:

Triguboff’s efforts to pay off his first home is an oft-quoted success story for first-home battlers: the developer owned a taxi fleet and supplemented his income with a milk run in Chatswood…

His company, Meriton…, has built one in 10 Sydney apartments, and some of the tallest residential towers in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast – a total of 75,000 apartments across the eastern states…

Sydney’s obsession with real estate has proved a windfall for Triguboff. He became a billionaire in 1997 and was ranked second in this year’s Australian Financial Review Rich List, worth $12.77 billion.

The 85-year-old and his wife, Rhonda, have been Vaucluse locals since 1983 when their waterfront home was bought by Meriton for $4.1 million, and next door added in 1998 for $6 million.

The amalgamated 5200-square-metre block is one of the largest, privately held waterfronts in Vaucluse, eclipsing Justin Hemmes’ Hermitage and fellow billionaire Leon Kamenev’a $80 million amalgamated block.

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Harry Triguboff is a key player in Australia’s ‘growth lobby’ – the cabal of rent-seekers that benefits from ‘growth’, most visibly via mass immigration.

For decades, Triguboff has actively lobbied Australia’s politicians to implement policies that are beneficial to his interests, including running a strong migration program. The below interview from 2006 highlights this point in all its hideous glory:

IT’S simple, says Harry Triguboff. Sydney has too much green and not enough grey, and if you want to look at trees – well, go climb a mountain…

“You go north and we have all these reserves and you go south and you have all the reserves, and they are the best part of the coast. That is crazy. We should be building on this area,” he said.

“If they want to see trees, they can go to Katoomba, there are plenty of trees there”…

He also called for a big increase in immigration, saying the population of Sydney should be 20 million by 2050, with the population of Australia 150 million.

And he has dismissed proposals for values and language tests for immigrants, saying: “What’s more important for me – a guy who can fix my tap or a guy who can speak English?”…

[Triguboff] also gave a rare insight during the interview into the level of influence he had with the former premier, Bob Carr.

He said he spoke far more to Mr Carr than he does to his successor, Morris Iemma, and convinced him to change laws concerning owners’ corporations to stop rogue elements in body corporates engaging lawyers and consultants without a proper vote.

He said that about three years ago he convinced Mr Carr there should be more development in Sydney, saying Mr Carr would have more than $1 billion in stamp duty if councils approved developments on all of Meriton’s land.

“He was telling openly he saw me more than he saw cabinet ministers. That doesn’t mean he did what I told him but he knew [my] story very well,” Mr Triguboff said.

“This is the way it works, you have a minister of planning and then sometimes you’re not happy with what he does and you go to Carr … and you say ‘listen, this is the position’.

Journalist Crispin Hull also highlighted Triguboff’s political influence in an article published last year:

[Triguboff] was quoted in the very reliable Australian Financial Review late last year as dismissing concerns that there might be an over-supply of apartments.

Triguboff was asked, “But might rents fall in Sydney and Brisbane when all the new apartments are completed in the next two years?”

He responded, “Then I will bring in more migrants.”

Whoops, I must have got in wrong when I said above that the Federal Government sets the migrant quotas. Apparently, property developers set migrant targets in Australia. Or at least federal politicians are so beholden to them and their donations that, in effect, they determine migration quotas.

Make no mistake, a large proportion of Harry Triguboff’s wealth has arisen because he has ‘privatised’ the gains from mass immigration and other pro-growth policies, whereas the costs have been ‘socialised’ on everyone else.

In his “forgotten peoples” speech, Prime Minister Robert Menzies pronounced: “One of the best instincts in us is that which induces us to have one little piece of earth with a house and a garden which is ours”.

Harry Triguboff claims credit for changing the Australian dream:

In 1963, Harry Triguboff decided to challenge the Great Australian Dream of owning a house on a quarter-acre block.

“I looked around and I saw cottages everywhere… I thought it was time they lived in apartments.”

So everyone was to live in apartments. Everyone except for Harry Triguboff.

Sadly, Harry Triguboff’s dream is fast becoming a reality. Not only are apartments now the dominant form of new housing in our migrant hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne:

But in Sydney at least, the Urban Taskforce projects that only one quarter of all homes will be detached houses by mid-century:

Sydney is facing a future whereby only the wealthy elite like Harry Triguboff will be able to afford to live in a decent detached house with a backyard, while the ordinary folk are crammed like battery chooks into apartments.

It’s high time our policy makers ignored rent seekers like Harry Triguboff and set policy in the interests of the ordinary residents, who are being kicked to the curb by the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      When the revolution comes he should be dragged out and hanged from the gate of his Vaucluse mansion
      ……turn straya into a third world slum country and you could get third world slum justice ….

      • +++ there are at least two areas this slum builder has helped build in Sydney that are 100% destined to be slums in a decade or so, wolli creek and mascot

  1. The ironic thing is that Harry is an illegal migrant himself.

    They tried to deport him and his brother in the 1940’s but couldn’t find them. His father, Moshe Triguboff, was been repeatedly denied entrance into Australia for complicity in Japanese war crimes against the Chinese.

    See the “the very reliable Australian Financial Review”

    • interested party

      Pure speculation here, but I would not be surprised if he has enough dirt of enough politicians to bring down a government…..ergo….he will not be /can not be touched…..ever.

      • Rent Seeking Missile

        Sadly, that seems to be how it works.

        They only let you climb the ladder if they have a noose tied around your neck.

  2. “IT’S simple, says Harry Triguboff. Sydney has too much green and not enough grey, and if you want to look at trees – well, go climb a mountain…”

    And if you want grey, that’s simple too, shift to one of the Asian mega cities or go back to the country of your alternative nationality. Fixed.

  3. Australia like any other migrant importing nation only benefits from the scheme if the new arrivals bring with them something more than the locals have to offer…..yes, they are consumers but they need to find work that Aussies cannot or will not fill. Bringing them in to displace Aussie workers or keeping them on benefits is basically diluting our national income amongst more recepients with additional cost of infrastructure, etc. Immigration per se, is not a magic pudding at all……just look at Africa or cental America, folks

  4. Pure greed and ego. A case in point when everything is never enough. Pathetic.

    Do Australia a favor and die already.

    • That’s what does my head in about guys like Trigoscum, Murdoch, Koch brothers. Being billionares is never enough, always want more, and couldn’t care one iota about ANYBODY else. Such selfish scum. Trigoboff doesn’t donate to anything other than some Jew thing. So he just sucks the blood out of the country and gives absolutely nothing in return. I absolutely despise the old c*nt.

  5. Maybe he has $12b and the largest home but he is still the old miserable man who is going to die soon wanting to have something he cannot: that government immigration document showing who blacklisted his parents.

    • yeah, i reckon evil old bastards live for ages cos they can sleep at night, they feel no compassion or remorse

    • Nope, Soros donates lots of his money to charities and education.

      Harry only gives to politicians.

      • SupernovaMEMBER

        Globalists, Soros and Harry T……both right-wing billionaire jews who also happen to be the largest financial supporters of left-wing politics and their policies. There’s nothing quite like the distraction and divisiveness of left-wing identity policies. It took Hungary over a year to begin to understand how deeply Soros’s money was embedded into Hungarian institutions especially education and left-wing fraudulent research.

      • To be fair he did donate to an Israeli-based organisation to prevent radicalisation of people in the Middle East. Presumably this organisation uses a gun in one hand and an olive branch in the other.

        In Australia this lovely old guy is hoping to bring a similar vibrant diversity to Australia. Perhaps we can eventually import some of the Israel-based de-radicalisation strategies for the high density slums he’s built? He might even turn a coin on that.

        After all, business is business.

  6. He is old, he too will end up a rotting corpse, all his wealth will have no meaning to him when his final breath draws.

    • Yep, just another old man with an endless capacity for greed, like somehow that will stop the bony fingers of death as they reach out to him. It is never enough.

    • Indeed.
      Despite his enormous wealth, his spectacular political influence and his lavish and privileged lifestyle, he would certainly swap it all for what almost everyone here already has. A little more time in this world.
      Fcuk him. He will soon be gone.

  7. His legacy and debt for generations will be high rise slums or funeral pyres riddled with concrete cancer covered by flammable cladding.

  8. “It’s high time our policy makers ignored rent seekers like Harry Triguboff and set policy in the interests of the ordinary residents…”

    They would ignore him alright, but it’s very hard to ignore his cash. He does not get any favour for free.
    So, you are barking at the wrong tree here. It is the system that is inherently conducive to the corruption.
    We have compulsory voting, so voters’ purpose is merely to legitimize the debauchery.
    After the ballot, the elected don’t work in “the interests of the ordinary residents”, but in their “interests”.
    That obviously becomes the problem in the polls. So they get nervous and concerned come the election time.
    So, they are constantly replacing the leaders, But nothing really changes. Basically, you cannot serve two masters.
    One can get you elected, while the other will look after you if you look after them.
    How do you keep both happy?

    • The $$$$ and the big end of town controlled mainstream media can help get you elected as well.
      Pretty easy to decide who to keep happy

      • Bingo! Shame that Murdochcracy’s media are becoming increasingly less relevant in the times of Internet. So the voters are wisening up. Hence the discontent.

  9. The Horrible Scott Morrison MP

    About once a year I like to get a car to take me through the migrant highrise areas of Sydney.