This particular photograph is the graphic representation of over 85 companies around the world, 5 of which are located here in Sydney! So, why is it just so darn popular? Well, obviously it depicts a house being demolished and the machinery being used has no branding or business affiliation, so basically anyone can say "yup, thats me" but this is also a clue as to the actual origins of this picture.
Theres actually quite a few things that are a little bit unusual going on in the scene, as mentioned above, the excavator has no branding or corporate decals, this is usually one of the first things a business will do with their equipment, heck, If you're going to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars, it may as well look cool right! Further more, the house itself is certainly no typical rendition of an Australian home, nor is it American, in fact, if anything, it looks quite European. The other major anomaly is the fact that the building is being demolished with roofing tiles still in place (this makes grading the waste materials far more difficult as they will now be mixed in with timber and other resources) lest we not even take notice of the perfectly salvageable windows left in place.
But what does it all mean? One very probably interpretation would suggest that the demolition of the house in the image was either done with little or no planning, possibly even against the will of the owner. It is also unlikely to see state or council owned machinery and equipment be decorated with insignia and branding. So is this a case of local authorities demolishing a house without consent? Possibly.
The earliest listed version (also the largest and least edited) appears on a German news and media website in an article pertaining to developers deviating from approved plans, citing that the image itself depicts the demolition of four 2 storey townhouses which were constructed under the guise of approval for one single storey home. The Niedersächsische Oberverwaltungsgericht "German High Court" deemed the structures illegal and ordered their destruction at cost to the developer. A specific address and details of the builder are mentioned in some of the ensuing court documents, however our understanding of the German language isn't really up to speed and thus deciphering the information has been difficult. If anyone reading this Sprechen Sie Deutsch, feel free to peruse some articles here - and let us know what it all means!