NSW Labor leader Michael Daley hopes no one was offended when he said young people were being forced to “flee” Sydney because their jobs were being taken by educated Asian migrants.
The Opposition leader on Tuesday issued a qualified apology after comments he made in the Blue Mountains in September emerged.
“Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PHDs,” the then-deputy Labor leader told the Politics in the Pub function in Wentworth Falls.
“So there’s a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs”.
He later explained it wasn’t bad because Asian children were coming to work in Sydney but it was bad because “I’d like my daughter to be living in Maroubra rather than St Kilda (in Melbourne)” the Daily Telegraph reported.
Mr Daley on Tuesday said he had been discussing housing affordability and a desire to ensure “all of our children” could continue to live in Sydney if they chose.
“Many are being forced to leave Sydney because of high cost of living and property prices, notwithstanding some recent declines,” he said in a statement.
“In making these points, I could have expressed myself better. I meant no offence and hope none has been taken.
“I apologise if any offence is taken.”
Mr Daley’s predecessor Luke Foley was wildly criticised in 2018 when he used the term “white flight” when referring to struggling western Sydney suburbs.