Liberal identity Nick Di Girolamo, the former director of the ICAC-investigated Australian Water Holdings, has sold his four bedroom Sydney home. The Henley riverfront fetched $4.8 million on its February delayed settlement terms having been listed for its marketing campaign late last year.
The pricey property came up for sale shortly before the late 2013 article by Fairfax Media reporters Kate McClymont and Linton Besser that the Independent Commission Against Corruption had begun formal inquiries into the affairs of Australian Water Holdings, with the corruption watchdog seizing files concerning the company.
The house was briefly for sale in 2011 having been bought in early 2010 for $4.5 million in the name of Nick’s wife, Jodie Di Girolamo. The eventual $300,000 price gain barely covered the initial $255,000 stamp duty costs.
The waterfront property had been listed with $4.75 million plus price indications through Matthew Ward at Ward Partners. It is an small, yet expensive riverfront, suburb with few sales, making the median price difficult to regularly determine, but in 2011 it was at $3.3 million, according to RP Data, with the highest sale on the street being $6.65 million in 2010. Property Observer gleans the couple had previously lived nearby at Sherwin Street, Henley, in a 1925 house that Jodie sold for $2.25 million in early 2010. It had cost $1.2 million in 2002. The couple both owned the prior home in Russell Lea, bought for $260,000 in 1994 and sold in 2002 at $750,000.
The recently sold 28 William Street riverfront property was marketed as showcasing a desirable north easterly aspect with magnificent water views. Its facilities included a boat shed, slipway, cradle, winch, jetty and pen. The 256 square metre two level house sits on a 986 square metre block with level lawns gently descending to the waters’ edge.
“It has enormous scope to renovate or rebuild your dream home,” the Ward Partners’ marketing suggested of the 1950s home which was renovated in 2000.
The former head of Australian Water Holdings Nick Di Girolamo was just an “old fashioned shyster, fraudster,” counsel assisting the Independent Commission suggested at the recent hearing.
Born in 1970, Di Girolamo went to St Patrick’s school Strathfield with the Obeid family boys and is best friends with Eddie Obeid Jr, who is godfather to one of his children. The former managing partner of Sydney law firm Colin Biggers & Paisley joined Australian Water, then Rouse Hill Infrastructure Consortium, in 2005. He allegedly sold the Obeid family a 30 per cent stake in Australian Water Holdings for $3 million in November 2010. He stands accused of “milking” Sydney Water for millions of dollars in expenses under a contract to supply water infrastructure, including gifts and donations to the NSW Liberal Party.
The Di Girolamo couple also co-owned a colonial sandstone Freemans Reach weekender with former business associate John Rippon and his wife, Sheenah, and another co-owner, Claudio Tropea, each taking a third stake in the holding on its 2006 purchase. The eight-hectare property, known as Wellow Farm, cost $1.25 million in 2006 and was sold after disputation between the couples, at $1.25 million last year.
Possibly one of its selling points was its irrigation licence for 27 megs.
Words: Jonathan Chancellor, www.propertyobserver.com.au.