Gerry Harvey: 100 million Australians ahead

As noted yesterday, back in 2009 Gerry Harvey had an idea. It didn’t make any economic or policy sense but sure made sense for his business, via Herald Sun:

BILLIONAIRE retailer Gerry Harvey says Australia needs a two-tier wage system to allow employers to pay foreign guest workers less than locals.

The Harvey Norman boss said Australia’s prosperity was creating a labour shortage and endangering the nation’s competitiveness.

He said a growing number of Australian manufacturers were moving overseas, where cheap labour was plentiful.

He called on the Federal Government to allow foreign workers on fixed visas to form a second tier to the labour market.

“Australia doesn’t have cheap labour. Many overseas workers would be prepared to move here for a much better life and half the money Australians earn,” he said.

“When you get unemployment down to four per cent, to three per cent, to two per cent, business can’t get the labour.

“I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff.

“Workers would rather work in the mines where they get paid twice as much.

“Fruit- picking companies are relying on backpackers.”

Mr Harvey said both major parties needed to open the gates to migrants.

“The US can draw on a lot of cheap labour from Mexico and South America,” he said.

“People from those countries move to the US looking for a better life.

“European countries can draw on cheap labour from eastern Europe.

“The danger of being too prosperous is that it can come back to bite you – you can become too lazy and other nations work harder and overtake you.”

“What I’m saying is not politically correct.

“You won’t get politicians saying what I’m saying, but privately they know this sort of thing is a reality in the future.”

Gerry Harvey got his wish of course. Retail has casualised ever more and entry level positions are inundated with cheap foreign labour, boosting his margins.

It did not reverse the declines in Australian competitiveness. Oh no. As he no doubt knew it would, it instead put a rocket under housing and household goods demand and today we see the result:

Harvey Norman’s net profit soared 29 per cent to a record $448.9 million in 2017 as Australia’s largest furniture and homewares retailer rode the last tailwinds of the housing and property booms.

The bottom line result, which exceeded the last record result of $413 million in 2007, was augmented by property revaluations of $108.5 million, more than double the $48 million of property revaluations booked in 2016.

Underlying net profit excluding properly revaluations and asset impairments rose 15.7 per cent to $390.8 million, beating consensus forecasts around $385 million.

“To say that we’re pleased by the record-breaking results we are presenting today would indeed be an understatement,” said chairman Gerry Harvey.

“The results for the year ended 30 June 2017 are truly unprecedented in our 30-year history.”

And now, today:

BILLIONAIRE retailer Gerry Harvey has predicted Australia will become an “Asian country” with a population of 100 million in the next century, saying there is “not a chance in hell” immigration can be dialled back.

Earlier this month, outspoken entrepreneur Dick Smith launched a $1 million anti-immigration ad, calling for Australia’s net migration intake to be scaled back from its current level 210,000 people a year to its historical average of 70,000.

Mr Smith joined a growing number of commentators, economists and politicians blaming “unsustainable” record high immigration for declining living standards and skyrocketing house prices, with retailers such as Harvey Norman accused of pushing a “pro-growth” agenda.

Mr Harvey, speaking to as the furniture and electrical goods retailer announced a record full-year profit, said he had “always held the same view” that Australia was a “great big place and no one lives here”.

“If I was God and I looked down on the Earth, I would see 1.3 billion Indians, 1.4 billion Chinese, 240 million Indonesians, these great big continents, America, Europe, and one funny little country, Australia,” he said.

“It’s not possible you can maintain a population of 25 to 30 million people. In 100 years from now Australia will have a population of 50 to 100 million people. That’s going to happen regardless of what Dick Smith thinks, I think or you think, it’s just inevitable.

“The people that exist today, me and you, we all have our view, but we’ll be long gone.”

Mr Harvey said immigration and population growth were impossible to control.

“The problem is you can’t control it,” he said. “The rest of the world at some stage is not going to let you control it. Sometimes when you smell the inevitable you’ve got to go along with it.

“You’re going to come under immense pressure, it may be like boat people coming in huge numbers. It’s a utopian idea that some people have, in a lot of ways I can see the worth of it, but will you ever be able to hold it to some number under 25 to 30 million? Not a chance in hell.

“It was obvious to me [since] university. Australia is going to become an Asian country, 100 per cent for sure. It’s just a matter of when. You might have close to four billion Asians in the world, where do you think they’re going to live?”

It would be easy to dismiss this as the mutterings of a crackpot. There’s only one problem. The dystopian vision is supported wholeheartedly by both major political parties and, preposterously, The Greens, as well as all major media outlets.

In case you didn’t already know it, you are at war for your country’s future.

Houses and Holes
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    • Lucy Turnbull’s plan for a segregated Sydney involve no growth to the high income inner Sydney suburbs like Mosman or Vaucluse where she and her rich friends live.

      The immigrants are forced to live in the Western high-rise ghettos, and have hellish commutes.

      • Thats why I keep saying Dick should buy a few blocks around there and put in planning applications for highrises.

        The media will expose the NIMBYs and, be interviewing Dick damn near every day while he says “I’m just trying to give material support their policies. It’s central, it’s close, are they supposed to live in the Blue Mountains?”

        That fight will bring the elitist wankers in charge directly to the people. I doubt they’ll be impressed with their attitude.

      • Jumping jack flash


        but nice try.

        The “elite”, the winners of the FIRE economy, are becoming more confident and louder every day with saying “let them eat cake”.

        And ordinary Australians are far too busy working like slaves paying back debt mountains to care.

        Just the other day I heard on the radio on the way to work that one pollie, can’t think who, basically said “suck it up” with regards to electricity prices, there was nothing really the government could do to help in the foreseeable future, and if you want to see if there’s a better deal contact the companies responsible.

        I obviously knew that, because the government sold off that responsibility years ago, and one benefit of doing so was they now have the luxury of saying “nothing to do with us, complain to the private companies’ indonesian call centres”.

        but I never thought they would actually say it out loud like that.

    • Shades of JK Rowling who is another ‘let them all in’ advocate.

      High Chieftan of the Bleeding Heart Liberal set, she’s been unable to accommodate a single refugee on her Edinburgh estate that includes two 40ft luxurious Hogwarts-style tree houses. I’m sure she would if she could but she, er …. can’t.

  1. The stupid imbecile. Of course we can control immigration. We’re a long way from anywhere, and immigrants can’t magic themselves here…it’s either boat or plane, and both avenues are easily controlled.

    How did a cretin like this make so much money?

      • Yes, his crying poor is the reason you’ll have to pay GST on all imported goods soon, not just those over $1000

      • Yes I said similar yesterday. The irony of course is he loves immigrants when they come to live here. But hates it when we decide to buy from them instead of paying “The Australia Tax” and buying from the likes of him and his dinosaur business model.

        As someone else said. I hope Amazon smashes him within a couple of years. He won’t be able to compete because he doesn’t know how to innovate. Just dictate.

      • Yep, no need to feel any guilt about using Amazon. 80%+ of Australians vote for this, plus it’s not going to be just Harvey Norman that wants more people. Australians are playing a very stupid game, and a lot of them will end up with very stupid prizes by going back to developing world standards of living. Just amazing how quickly and shamelessly we’ve turned our backs on what our forefathers gave us. Unforgivable.

  2. “I’ve got horse studs and it’s difficult to get staff.”
    Christ I bet he gets the business confidence survey every month and sticks a 10 in every box. He probably pays his horse stud staff less than what he pays the horses – chaff but not the good grass.

    Meanwhile I wonder how many desalination plants even 30 million people would need…….

  3. Proposition or just bluster: Harvey get the media time because who he is not that he is convincing. It’s more lazy stupid Strayan media.

  4. I reckon he’s actually doing us a big favour – “Australia is going to become an Asian country, 100 per cent for sure.” That sort of talk will start a revolution in this country.

  5. Its worth reading all the comments posted by readers on Everyone one of them was scathing of Gerry. Many well aware of the population ponzi working only to his greedy benefit.

  6. How does Israel do it? Ah that’s right. Nukes. Instead of the nuclear disarmament party I’d like to start a let’s get nukes party.

    I’m sure young Australians would be happy to do a year or two in the army if they were treated with a bit of respect instead of just something to load up with debt.

  7. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Gerry ……hope you plan to materially contribute to your vision by putting some cheap nasty apartments on your horse farm ……..

    “I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
    Till we have built Jiaojiang
    In Australia’s green and pleasant land ”

    You Sir, are a prick ……………..

  8. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    “BILLIONAIRE retailer Gerry Harvey says Australia needs a two-tier wage system to allow employers to pay foreign guest workers less than locals.”

    Right, how about a 2 tier tax system, where monolopy rent seaking Plutocrats like Gerry, Gina, Forrest, the Packers and the Murdochs just get taxed the fuck out of our Country. The same for any private Tyranny (Corporations) that attempts to undermine the standard of living of Australians. Tax these Cunts to death!

    Its time to Nationalise key Australian Industries, throw up protections and Tarrifs against slave Labor using “competators” and kick the fucking traitors responsible for this shit out of OUR Country!

  9. proofreadersMEMBER

    Fortunately for Gerry, he will have likely gone to that better place before the population ponzi that he worships explodes to finish off Straya?

  10. So according to Gerry Harvey between 2050 and 2100, the number of Asian people i. australia will at least double, probably more like triple, even as the number if Asian born people on the planet falls by 10%.
    Whatever he reckons, I guess .

  11. Jumping jack flash

    Shut up Gerry!

    Just an old man who benefits immensely from cheap labour and the increased market size from unchecked immigration, talking up his own book.

    Nothing to see here.

  12. Hey Gerry, how much money do you make selling your products into the nations where consumers get paid so much less than in Australia? Yeah, I thought so.

    People consume based on their earnings (actual and projected). They consume things with the money they earn, or the debt they’re willing to rack up based on their projected earnings to support that debt. Pay people less and they consume less, unless interest rates are lowered to enable higher levels of debt. The most extreme effect on consumption is seen when earnings drop to zero (unemployment or retirement).

    So is Gerry suggesting that he’s going to slash prices (hence profits) to support consumption by workers at lower wages? Nah, don’t think so. 10 years interest free baby!

    • Average Indians are currently paid about 10% of average Australians, but catching up around 5% per year.
      If trend continues, Indians will better paid than Aussies some time in the 2060s. Better strategy for Gerry to open stores there to take advantage.

  13. It’s a strawman argument to say that ppl want a population of 25-30 million: no, it’s the RATE of change that is the problem.

    It should be done moderately and sustainably – the currents rates of immigration are neither of those.

    I hate strawman arguments.

  14. Portugal has a shrinking population.

    Living in AUS, it seems like a miracle that some high wage nations are allowed to have a shrinking population or hardly any immigration.

    Heck, over 28% of AUS is foreign born. Hardly any nation is like that.

  15. “Mr Harvey said immigration and population growth were impossible to control.”

    He’s right though, as long as Labor, Liberals or Greens are in power, and as long as we lie back and accept the status quo.