NSW Labor’s Michael Daley Accused of ‘Rank Hypocrisy’

March 20, 2019 Updated: March 20, 2019

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley’s comments on skilled Asian migrants taking local jobs have been widely condemned but the premier held back from criticising the racial element of his remarks.

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian instead focused on Daley’s “rank hypocrisy” after a video emerged of him telling a Blue Mountains pub forum in September that highly-skilled Asian migrants were forcing Australian-born workers to “flee” Sydney.

“Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs,” he said.

“So there’s a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.”

Two months later, he held a press conference in Parliament House exclusively for Chinese media in which he reportedly said the Chinese have “a great sense of energy, entrepreneurship, great business people … you’ve lifted the spirit of this nation.”

Berejiklian highlighted the contradictions in Daley’s comments.

Gladys Berejiklian 发布于 2019年3月2日周六

“What the issue is at hand today is the two-faced hypocrisy of the leader of the opposition, that’s the issue,” Berejiklian told reporters.

Pushed on whether she was offended by the racial nature of the comments, Berejiklian said: “Of course there are offensive elements to what he said, no doubt about that, but what rankles with me the most is his hypocrisy.”

She argued: “He thinks he can say one thing to one group of people, and another thing to another group.”

Berejiklian in May 2018 slammed then-Labor leader Luke Foley for his comments on “white flight” when he suggested Anglo families were leaving parts of Sydney.

The premier called Foley’s comments “deeply divisive, dangerous, and nasty,” adding that he’d “crossed the line.”

Luke Foley 发布于 2018年6月27日周三

Berejiklian in October then called for a “breather” on immigration into NSW because rates had gone “through the roof.”

Daley issued a qualified apology on March 19.

The opposition leader insisted he’d been discussing housing affordability and a desire to ensure “all of our children” could continue to live in Sydney.

“I have conceded that my language could have been better, I’ve readily acknowledged that and if anyone has taken offence to what I’ve said, I do apologise,” he told reporters.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten said Daley’s comments were poorly worded.

Bruce. What a legend. 7AFL

Bill Shorten MP 发布于 2019年3月8日周五

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also accused the state opposition leader of hypocrisy.

“He’s trying to be Pauline Hanson in the Blue Mountains and (Greens Senator) Sarah Hanson-Young in the city,” the Liberal minister told reporters.

But Perrottet went a step further than Berejiklian by condemning the racial focus of Daley’s remarks.

“It is completely wrong and irresponsible to single out a race and say that people are fleeing Sydney as a result,” the treasurer said.

Former race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane agrees.

“Those remarks (by Daley) are disappointing,” Soutphommasane told ABC TV.

“Many people would have interpreted them as involving an appeal to racism. You can have a debate about congestion or housing affordability or quality of life without singling out racial groups.”

Daley Ads Appear in Chinese Newspapers

Daley advertisements have shown up on several Chinese-Australian newspapers, as he faces criticism over comments he made about Asian migrants taking local jobs.

Accompanying a large photo of Daley and his family, is his key election slogans“schools and hospitals before stadiums” and “putting people first”written in Mandarin.

The ads also include the head shots of 10 Labor candidates.

Daley on Tuesday admitted he could have used better language and apologised if anyone was offended by the remarks made at a pub forum in the Blue Mountains in September.

In an apparent move to reassure parts of Sydney’s Asian community, Labor on Wednesday took out full front-page advertisements in at least three locally-produced Chinese newspapersthe Australian Chinese Daily, Australian New Express Daily, and Daily Chinese Herald.

It’s understood an ad is also featured on the front page of the Sing Tao Daily Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday denounced the state opposition leader’s comments, as he announced a cut to Australia’s immigration intake.

He described the remarks as “appalling,” “very upsetting,” and “offensive.”

“I reject the comments and I think that Bill Shorten should disassociate himself as well,” he told ABC News.

Shorten acknowledged on Tuesday that the comment was “very poorly worded” but said Daley had apologised.

Daley Says No Part in Chinese Paper Ads

Daley says he played no part in organising full-page ads featuring him on the front of several Chinese language newspapers after he was criticised suggesting Asian migrants were taking local jobs.

“It’s not something I had any role in,” Daley told reporters on Wednesday.

“I’m not (a racist), I never have been, people who know me know that I’m not,” Daley said.

“I did use words that I shouldn’t have, I accept that and my apology is unqualified.”

The opposition leader said he’d discussed the comments with some Labor MPs including Kogarah MP Chris Minns who later issued a bilingual statement on Chinese social media platform WeChat.

Bankstown MP Tania Mihailuk said voters at polling booths on Tuesday didn’t raise Daley’s comments with her.

“The point he wanted to make was that everyone deserves a fair go,” she told reporters.

“The main issues people raised with me was they are really tired of this government not looking after them.”

“I reject the comments and I think that Bill Shorten should disassociate himself as well,” he told ABC News.