Monthly Archives: April 2015

Australia’s richest and poorest postcodes shown by tax statistics

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Australia’s richest and poorest postcodes revealed

ATO statistics reveal the country’s poorest and richest postcodes, with some surprises.

Australia’s richest live in harbourside Sydney and earn more than eight times the nation’s poorest, who live in rural NSW, Tax Office statistics show.

The latest Taxation Statistics for 2012-13, based on information people report in their tax returns, again highlights the enormous pay gap between the nation’s richest and poorest – there’s an average (mean) income difference of $155,823 between the richest postcode (2027) and poorest postcode (2403).

A total of 5980 Australia’s highest earners fell within postcode 2027, which takes in Edgecliff, Rushcutters Bay, Darling Point and Point Piper in Sydney. It took the number one spot in 2011-12 as well. In this area, which falls within Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate of Wentworth, the average taxable income was $177,514.


In the poorest area, postcode 2403 in rural NSW, takes in Myall Creek – the site of the massacre in 1838 where 30 unarmed indigenous Australians were murdered – as well as Delungra and Gragin. Here there were 350 people and the average taxable income was $21,691.

The information, based on the returns of 12.77 million taxpayers, does not account for people in the cash economy or with money sitting in offshore tax havens. But it does take into account tax breaks such as negative gearing when assessing average taxable income.

The data also shows the nation’s highest earning professions. The top 10 included 3570 surgeons with average taxable income of $361,202.

The next highest earning professions were 3015 anaesthetists with average taxable income of $319,033; 7525 “internal medicine specialists” (diagnosing internal disorders) with taxable income of $263,601; 5090 financial dealers with average income of $219,213 and 2645 judicial and other legal professionals with an income of $192,189.

The remaining top 10 included psychiatrists, mining engineers, “other medical practitioners”, chief executives and managing directors and “generalist medical practitioners”.

In terms of postcodes, six of the top 10 richest were in inner and eastern Sydney, three were in Victoria, and one was in Perth.

Sydney’s harbourside eastern suburbs have once again topped the list of Australia’s richest postcodes


The nation’s second richest postcode was the town of St Andrews in Victoria, which sits north-east of Melbourne. It’s the first time it has made the top 10, and given 655 people fell within the ATO’s data there, it’s possible the average ($148,967) is pulled up by one wealthy person. The ATO would not confirm this, saying it does not disclose information on individual taxpayers.

The third richest postcode nationally in 2013 was 2023, the eastern Sydney suburb of Bellevue Hill. There were 6945 people who lodged returns in this area, and the average taxable income was $143,112. In fourth place was postcode 6011 in Perth. It took in the suburbs of Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove, where average incomes were about $142,504, and 6610 individuals were included. The fifth was the Melbourne suburbs of Hawksburn and Toorak, which typically makes the top 10, and average income was $142,000.

In terms of the poorest postcodes in 2013, seven are in regional NSW, two are in Queensland (4613 and 4626) and one is in Victoria (3637). This is a slight change from 2012, when five of the 10 poorest postcodes were in Victoria.

The second poorest postcode in the nation is 2359, which takes in Aberdeen, Bakers Creek and Bundarra. Here the average income is $24,742. The third poorest is 2361, taking in villages of Ashford, Atholdwood, Bonshaw, Limestone and Pindaroi. Here the average income is $25,431.

The ATO has tweaked the way it reports the data, making comparisons with 2012 data difficult, but income levels remain roughly the same, although there has been a slight increase in taxable income in line with inflation.

The most charitable region in the nation was the ACT – with 109,121 people claiming $62.7 million in deductible gifts and donations. The average claimed in ACT per person was $575. Overall $2.3 billion worth of gifts and donations were claimed nationally, with the average claimed per individual totalling $504.


Henry Sapiecha

ASIC’s advice register will help to weed out bad apples in the finance adviser business

Stopping the rot: The register of financial advisers will only be as good as employers' breach reporting and recruitment processes.

Stopping the rot: The register of financial advisers will only be as good as employers’ breach reporting and recruitment processes.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s register of financial advisers that went live this week provides details of all those licensed to provide advice on investments, superannuation and life insurance.

The register on ASIC’s MoneySmart website at includes the adviser’s name, registration number, the adviser’s licensee and employment history going back five years.

It shows who owns the financial services licence, including the ultimate owner of the company under which the adviser is licensed. It also shows what products they can advise on.

It also shows disqualifications, banning orders or enforceable undertakings.

It looks as if the register has scored some early wins for consumers with four planners adversely named in the financial planning scandals at the big banks not listed on the register.

These are the planners who were “moved on” from employment with the big banks but who had not necessarily been reported to the regulator and who presumably had gone on to work for other employers.

The absence of the names on the register means that they are no longer working as financial planners.

It is an early indication that the register is working as intended with planners with questionable backgrounds leaving the industry.

A lack of quality control in the financial advice industry and a culture of financial product sales have long left consumers vulnerable to shoddy advice.

The licensing regime requires employers, the license holders, to supervise their planners and ensure their planners are honest, competent and ethical.

But as the scandals at the advice arms of the some of the banks have shown, employers have not been supervising their advisers as closely as they should have been.

The register is a good starting point. But there are plenty of things that the register does not include, such as police checks on planners and whether the planner has ever been bankrupt. And the employment history goes back five years only.

While the majority of planners are professional, there is a small percentage of “bad apples” who continue to move from employer to employer.

The register is really about ridding the industry of these bad apples.

But the register will only be as good as employers’ breach reporting and recruitment processes.

Employers are required to make “breach” reports to the regulator when they find problem with an employee planner that has resulted in, or is likely to result in, “significant” financial losses to clients.

The temptation of employers is to have the bad apples move to another employer with as little fuss as possible.

There are advisers who have done the wrong thing by their clients and been “moved on” and are still working as advisers with other employers.

Yet, they will not have any black marks against their names on the register.

Some employers may value a prospective employee’s ability to sell financial products above other skills. If a candidate has a record of success in sales, problems with their previous employment may be over-looked or minimised.

It is important to understand that there is no guarantee the information on the register is correct.


Henry Sapiecha