It could almost be a Hollywood movie story line:
The deputy mayor of Auburn, Salim Mehajer, is a 29 year old mega-rich property developer who drives a Koenigsegg worth $2 million, the most expensive car in Australia.
His father Mohamad Mehajer is also a property developer who has served part of a 3½ year sentence imposed in December 2013 for conspiring to cheat and defraud the National Australia Bank of more than $3 million. The court found a Mehajer loan application included false documents intended to present his financial position as “much rosier than it really was”.
It came to light as part of a police investigation into a $150 million fraud linked to the murder of businessman Michael McGurk, people-smuggling and false passports.
Mehajer Snr was released six weeks ago. One of his first acts of freedom was to play a role in a lavish prenuptial video celebrating his son’s approaching marriage.
Last Saturday Mehajer Jnr married in their buffed brand new home. It stopped both traffic in Lidcombe and the nation. Francis Street was blocked by Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, herds of bikies and spectators while four helicopters carrying the groom and guests descended on a nearby park to add to the mayhem.
The obvious question is, what is someone like this doing on the local council? The answer is also obvious; the article goes on to state:-
“The municipality’s biggest land-owning family, the father and son are a powerful presence around Auburn. They’ve made millions of dollars from council properties and other land deals, more so since the government altered the Local Government Act to allow councillors to vote on their own development applications.”
The huge residential property developments occurring in Waikanae is an issue that we campaigned about in the council by-election when we stated that the character of the community, orderliness and not least native flora and fauna are more important than the profits of property developers who, as in this example, are not averse to illegal and immoral practices.
The other question is, how did someone like this get elected in the first place? Unfortunately this answer is also easy: personalities are usually more important than policies, even at the local level.