spruikers flock here, by John Garnaut - 24th May 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald)
American get-rich-quick spruiker
Robert Allen is the subject of an ACCC investigation
into misleading and deceptive conduct after being
brought to Sydney by a partner of property marketeer
Allen, who filed for bankruptcy in 1996 and has
a history of conflict with the US Internal Revenue
Service, promised to make millionaires of those
paying $5000 to attend his courses.
signed up at least 150 Sydneysiders in an introductory
seminar on Tuesday, said a consumer advocate in
attendance, Neil Jenman.
a carbon copy of Henry Kaye," Mr Jenman said.
Samuel, chairman of the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission, said Australia was being
flooded by new spruikers even as he was shutting
old ones down.
fast as one goes out the exit door, two or three
come in the entry door," he said.
pulled their newspaper ads but they've gone underground
- they've gone onto the internet and into direct
arrival of foreign spruikers comes as the Federal
Government's key investment policy maker, Ross
Cameron, said their damage had so far been obscured
by a booming property market.
you-know-what's going to more than hit the fan
as the property market slows," Mr Cameron,
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer,
said in an interview.
Allen was brought to Australia by a company associated
with Ronnie Kagan, a former partner of Henry Kaye.
Brailey, president of the Real Estate Consumers
Association, said she and a Channel Seven cameraman
were assaulted and manhandled by six security
guards at a Robert Allen seminar on Tuesday night.
Guards blocked their vehicle from leaving the
premises, she said.
the ACCC and the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission, the two key regulators under Mr Cameron's
control, have said they would like to see a national
property investment regulatory regime.
Mr Cameron said consumers and investors needed
to watch out for their own welfare rather than
expect the Federal Government to regulate their
said property investments had been a state responsibility
since colonial days and "there is no way
of unscrambling Humpty Dumpty". The states
would need to forgo funding if Canberra was to
reconsider, he said.
Cameron said Australians had paid a price for
the "tendency for us to relax in the placental
warmth of the embrace of the state".
said his lassiez-faire philosophy made him an
unusual choice as the Government's key consumer
policy maker and he had probably been a "disappointment"
to his masters.
he said Prime Minister John Howard supported his
inclination to leave property regulation to the
PM will say that if every time the states screw
up we have to intervene, then why do we have them?"
believes an effective regime would require new
laws and a new bureaucracy and could not simply
be spliced into the existing financial services
at the regulators and Treasurer say the states
have so far botched efforts to present their case
to Canberra - although there remains some hope.
The issue of property regulation had not been
brought before Cabinet, government sources said.
Sydney Morning Herald
Internal Revenue Service
Estate related websites
Hall of Shame
SPRUIKER OR THE PHILOSOPHER, by Neil Jenman