Tim Gurner, founder of Gurner Group, told the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Property Summit this week that drastic changes needed to be made, but has since admitted his comments were “deeply insensitive and wrong”.
“At the AFR Property Summit this week I made some comments about unemployment and productivity in Australia which I deeply regret and which were wrong,” he said in a statement this afternoon.
“There are clearly important conversations to have in this environment of high inflation, pressures on house prices and rents due to lack of supply and other cost of living issues.”
“My comments were deeply insensitive to families across Australia who are affected by these cost of living pressures and job losses.
“I want to be clear: I appreciate that when someone loses their job it has a profound impact on them and their families and I sincerely regret that my words did not convey empathy for those who find themselves in that situation.”
The apology comes after a short clip of his comments published by the AFR went viral, racking up more than 23 million views and attracting condemnation from both the public and politicians.
American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared the video with her 13.2 million followers, while some local politicians and union leaders expressed their disapproval.
“We need to remind people that they work for the employer and not the other way around.
“Commercial companies have definitely decreased their productivity. They have been paid a lot to not do much in recent years, and we need to see that change.”
According to the latest set of figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics today, unemployment in August was 3.7 per cent.
A 50 percent increase would raise that figure to 5.5 percent.
Gurner’s claims were “detached from reality”, CFMEU national secretary Zac Smith said.
“This is a disgraceful insult to the workers who break their stomachs every day in one of Australia’s most dangerous industries,” Mr Smith said.
“The worst thing of all is that he is totally wrong.
“Productivity and business profits have been ahead of wages for years.
“It’s surprising that a self-proclaimed expert can be so far from reality.”
Homeowners hold onto their properties the longest in these ten suburbs
Gurner also called for more immigration to fill the job gap, but others at the summit warned that could only increase pressure on housing.
“It is absolutely necessary that there be immigration,” he said.
He said the planning system in Sydney was “fundamentally broken”.
Gurner Group’s website puts the value of its development and management portfolio at more than $9.5 billion.
#Millionaire #property #developer #apologizes #insensitive #business #comments