When Anti-Marekteering Laws Claimed Their First Scalp

Posted on April 30, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.B., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au

After almost six years the Beattie government finally nailed its first over-priced property marketeer, yet had the temerity to give its subsequent crowing media release this caption: “Breakthough in marketeering battle“.

More a lucky shot than a breakthrough, to my mind, and more a struggle than a battle.

Just as gangster Al Capone, blamed but never convicted for scores of murders, was eventually jailed on comparatively minor income tax evasion charges, Gold Coast real estate agent Philip James Hall and two companies of his were found by the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal to have breached anti-marketeering sections of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act over a six months period in 2002. These related to misleading conduct and false and misleading representations.

Hall and his companies, Northern Sun Realty and Starlink Promotions, were not convicted of ripping anyone off, mind, and there was no evidence that interstate buyers stitched up on clearly over-priced house-land packages were personally misled.

There were, however, some delightful ironies in this “breakthrough” where Hall came unstuck after falsely declaring Northern Sun Realty was the land-sellers’ agent and failing to disclose the full fees paid by the house-builder, Martin Grange Homes.

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