Billionaire Aussie businessman talks up China's 'get things done' political system

Gerry Harvey draws heat for off-hand comments praising China

Billionaire Aussie businessman talks up China's 'get things done' political system
Gerry Harvey / ABC
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Billionaire businessman Gerry Harvey says Australia’s current parliament – with so many independents – is “a recipe for disaster”.

In a revealing interview, the business mogul lamented the move away from a two-party system because, when everyone wants to have a say nothing gets done.

He joked that he admired the Chinese political system where “you’ve got a government that’s in total control and they don’t give a f**k what the people say”.

“If you want to get something done, the best system is the Chinese one,” he laughed.

The 83-year-old businessman said the current Australian political environment was unlike any he had witnessed.

Referring to the rise of the “teal” independents – six of whom were elected in place of sitting Liberal MPs at the last federal election – Harvey said it was a “recipe for disaster”.

“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.

“But 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 you want to build a road or a bridge or make something, it never gets done. It’s stopped dead.

“Everyone wants a say and you’ve got big minority groups with a very loud voice and not a lot of numbers behind them.

“It’s a recipe for disaster in many ways, but the way we’re heading with democracy, I don’t think that’s going to change. Harvey, who celebrated a birthday last week, said life was “too interesting” to retire.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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