Woodrow Weight winner supports push for property services minister
26 September 2018
John Cunningham, REINSW immediate past-president and principal of Cunninghams, has thrown his weight behind the call to introduce a state minister for the property services industry.

Cunningham – who was recently awarded the 2018 REINSW Woodrow Weight award, one of the industry’s top honours – says a dedicated minister would help address major industry issues.  

“We don’t think it [the property services industry] should be part of the NSW Department of Fair Trading. There is too much that needs to be done,” he says.

“They [the government] haven’t changed the [stamp] duty brackets in 30 odd years, there are major issues with affordability and supply, education and training reforms, as well as professional standards.

“There should be a special minister for property and that is something we will be pushing for… in the lead up to next year’s state election.”

Currently the property services industry is governed by the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.
Knowledge through experience

Cunningham has over 40 years’ experience in the real estate industry. 

In 1991, he and his wife, Ann, set up Cunninghams Property which has grown to three successful agencies on Sydney’s northern beaches.

Cunningham has been an active member of REINSW for over 30 years. In 2005 he was nominated to the REINSW board and served as president from 2015 to 2017. He is also current chair of REINSW’s Professional Standards Committee.

At the recent REINSW Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, REINSW president, Leanne Pilkington, said Cunningham has done more to the support the industry, institute and agents in the last year than most agents will do in their entire careers.

“John’s single-minded determination has become infectious, with other industry leaders falling in behind him as he travels around the country in his own time lobbying, explaining and pushing people to become part of our Pathway to Professional program.”
No longer lying down

Cunningham’s service recognition came just a few days after REINSW resigned from the Real Estate Reference Group (RERG), established in 2015 by former Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello. 

In his resignation letter to current Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Matt Kean, REINSW CEO, Tim McKibbin, said REINSW has made every attempt to form a cooperative working relationship with NSW Fair Trading and further involvement would be futile.

Cunningham agrees with McKibbin, citing constant delays to education and training reforms as a key factor in the resignation.

“This legislation was passed unanimously in Parliament earlier this year,” he says. “To go down this path and delay, delay, delay makes a mockery of the legislation.”

Cunningham says the REINSW will establish its own professional standards reform.

“We’re making good ground with professional standards,” he says.

“To actually get it up and running is going to require a lot of change, but there is a willingness in the industry to do it. We are determined to make the change.”
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