- 212 (or 94%) federal MPs and Senators have all declared they own at least one property
- 15 declare they own no property at all, 79 others own one
- Senator Sam McMahon has 11 properties - ten of these are investments
It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that scrutinising politicians is a popular pastime for many Australians.
Given a federal member of parliament or senator earns a salary between $211,000 to $550,000 – far greater than the $76,076 median earnings for a full-time Aussie employee, according to the ABS – it would be safe to assume housing affordability may not be a personal issue for many politicians.
All politicians must disclose information such as primary and secondary homes, investment properties, holiday homes, commercial buildings and vacant land, including those jointly owned with spouses.
All of this information, including the suburbs these properties are in, are publicly available through the registers of interest.
The overwhelming majority of federal politicians own residential property in their local electorate or, in the case of senators, their respective state or territory.
Interestingly, almost half of all federal politicians own an investment property – whereas only 10% of the general population do so.
Overall 133 of the 227 federal politicians have two or more properties – only 79 (just over a third) own just one property, in most cases their sole residential property.
15 have no declaration of property ownership – including Greens Senator Jordan Steele-John, who at the age of 26 is the youngest serving federal politician.
Despite being on a $550,000 salary, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, only owns his Port Hockings family home within his Cook electorate. Like John Howard, Mr Morrison has chosen Kirribilli House as his primary residence – not a bad choice given reports suggesting the property could be worth as much as $50 million based on square meterage land valuations for nearby properties.
By contrast, the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, owns four properties across Sydney and Canberra, with two of them being owned by himself and his former spouse.
The figures exclude properties wholly owned by politicians spouses along with properties owned via trusts and company, due to their complex nature. Therefore, it might be safe to suggest the number of properties owned by our federal pollies could be higher.
Of course, the data is based on the number of properties, not their values.
Northern Territory Senator Sam McMahon of the Country Liberal Party comes out at the top with one residential and ten investment properties. According to the register, seven of these are in the Northern Territory with two in Queensland and one each in the United States and Indonesia. Quite the portfolio.
Next is the Liberal Western Australian Federal MP for Moore, Ian Goodenough, who has two residential properties and five commercial and investment properties. All are located in Western Australia except for his second residential home which is located in Yarralumla, ACT.
Tasmanian Labor Senator Cartryna Bilyk has the highest number of properties for a Federal Labor politician with two residential and three investment properties across Tasmania with one residence in the ACT.