Straight-talking Australian retailer

He built his huge business from scratch so is in good touch with reality -- and is confident of that

RETAILING billionaire Gerry Harvey has lamented that Australian charity is being wasted on "no-hopers". Asked in a new book about his community role, Mr Harvey said giving to people who "are not putting anything back into the community" is like "helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason".

He said it was arguable that giving charity to the homeless was "just wasted". "It might be a callous way of putting it but what are they doing?" he said. "They are just a drag on the whole community." He emphasised that he and his retail chain, Harvey Norman, had given "plenty away over the years . the more quality individuals you develop in the community, the better off the community should be". The comments are in the book Master CEOs, by funds manager Matthew Kidman.

Clare Martin, of the Australian Council of Social Service, said she had always thought Harvey Norman was aligned with the wider business sector on community involvement. "It does surprise me that Gerry Harvey, who's a very significant business figure, should not share the values of many other corporates."


Posted by John Ray.

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