Politics

NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley Slammed For “Racist” Video On The Eve Of The State Election

Daley was recorded saying Asian immigrants are "taking the jobs" of Australians.

Michael Daley under fire for "racist" remarks about Asian immigrants

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has come under fire just days out from the state election after a video emerged of him claiming that Asian immigrants are “taking the jobs” of young Australians.

In the video, which was recorded in September at a pub in the Blue Mountains, Daley, then deputy Labor leader, can be heard telling an audience that “there’s a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs”.

“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.

“I don’t want to sound xenophobic, it’s not a xenophobic thing, it’s an economic question.”

Asked by a “deeply concerned” audience member to clarify his comments, Daley insisted that he was simply stating a fact.

“Our young people are moving out of Sydney because they cannot afford to live here and they are being replaced by international workers,” he said. “Most of those are from Asia — from China, from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore. It’s not a bad thing because Asian kids are coming to work here, it’s a bad thing because I’d like my daughter to live in Maroubra rather than St Kilda [in Melbourne].”

Daley’s made the remarks several months after then-Labor leader Luke Foley came under fire for using the term “white flight” while talking about the “slow decline” of Sydney’s suburbs.

Daley’s comments sparked a fierce backlash from the Greens, with state MP David Shoebridge accusing the Labor leader of “racist dog-whistling”.

In a statement on Monday night, Daley said his comments were made in the context of discussing housing affordability, and that he “meant no offence”.

“In making these points I could have expressed myself better,” he said. “I apologise if any offence has been taken.”

The NSW state election is this Saturday.