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‘Best system’: Billionaire Gerry Harvey sparks outrage over China take

Gerry Harvey wants the government to 'take control'.

Gerry Harvey wants the government to 'take control'. Photo: AAP

Billionaire Gerry Harvey has sparked outrage again, this time with his suggestion that Australia should make like China’s authoritarian government to get things done.

The Harvey Norman co-founder voiced his complementary assessment on the Chinese Communist Party in an interview with news.com.au, complaining that Australia’s fresh Parliament is  “a recipe for disaster”.

“If you want to get something done, the best system is the Chinese one,” he said on Wednesday’s

“You just do it. You’ve got a government that’s in total control and they don’t give a f–k what the people say.”

The comments sparked outrage on social media, where the gaffe-prone Mr Harvey was lambasted for speaking favourably about the Chinese government, which faces international condemnation for its treatment of minority groups and threats to impose its will on Taiwan.

Mr Harvey made the comments while criticising growing local support for so-called ‘teal’ independents over the major two political parties.

In this year’s federal election, Kylea Tink, Sophie Scamps, Zoe Daniel, Monique Ryan and Allegra Spender all unseated Liberal members as part of the ‘teal wave’, named after the colour most of them campaigned in.

Their agendas, including a federal ICAC and a stronger emissions reduction target, directly conflict with the Liberal Party’s stance.

Mr Harvey said the makeup of federal parliament was a “recipe for disaster”, with Australia heading towards a government where Liberal and Labor may only hold “30 per cent” of the vote.

“When you’ve got a government that sees Labor in with full control or Liberal in with full control, you can get things done,” he said.

“When you’ve got a coalition of two, three, four or five or more independents, the process is slowed extraordinarily. They never get stuff done.”

“If I had to predict the future I think there’ll be a lot more of these coalitions. I can see some advantage in that, but then if you want to build a road or a bridge or make something, it never gets done, it’s stopped dead.”

The billionaire retailer has never been shy with his opinions – no matter how out-of-touch they might reveal him to be.

Mr Harvey came under fire early in the pandemic after praising the COVID virus for its effect on Harvey Norman’s sales, while pooh-poohing health concerns.

“You know, this is an opportunity,” he told 60 Minutes.

“Our sales are up in Harvey Norman in Australia by 9 per cent on last year. Our sales in freezers are up 300 per cent. And what about air purifiers? Up 100 per cent.”

But it seems Mr Harvey didn’t want to share his good fortune with employees. Harvey Norman later refused to hand back more than $13 million in JobKeeper subsidies in 2021, despite funnelling hundreds of millions of dollars to investors as profits soared.

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