Leave Gerry Harvey alone, says Kogan


blog Well, well, well. How the rebellious have fallen. First you slam them, then you achieve a cautious peace with them, then you start backing them to the hilt.

Today consumer electronics maverick Ruslan Kogan came out swinging against the activist groups who have launched a campaign against Harvey Norman titan Gerry Harvey for allegedly fuelling the destruction of Australia’s native forests. Writes a clearly lovesick Kogan:

“Now, as you may know, we think that Mr Harvey has many failings. But, there is no doubt he has also contributed a huge amount to the growth of the retail sector in Australia over the past few decades and is rightly regarded as the doyen of Australian retail, having provided many jobs to hard working Aussies, and invented a retail franchise model which was very innovative in its time.

Like him or hate him, Gerry Harvey is not a criminal – he should not be singled out for some supposed moral crime simply because he has complied with the law, and has sought Australian timber to use in his furniture. If anything, the use of Australian timber likely keeps more Australians in jobs, and puts bread on the table for many families.”

Kogan, of course, has a bit of a vested interest in this whole area, courtesy of his Milan Direct sideline business, a furniture importation business. We’d read his intervention into Harvey’s timber troubles as an angle on getting Milan Direct into the press … and on the basis of this blog post, it looks like that effort has been a success. Meta.

Image credit: Kogan Technologies and Delimiter


  1. Good link up on Milandirect. Both characters probably buy the furniture from the same Chinese wholesaler on demand – hence no show room (along with a bunch of other exclusive internet resellers).

    I currently sit on a poorly made replica chair… don’t expect any after sales support. I’ve tried.

  2. Interesting comments from Ruslan.
    I think GetUp! have chosen the wrong target this time. Gerry Harvey has supported a number or environmental causes without fanfare, Peter Andrews’ farmland rehabilitation for example.

  3. I’m a supplier to Harvey Norman (amongst other retailers), and think it’s a bit childish of GetUp to pick on one retailer for something like this, when most adopt similar practices. If GetUp hadn’t picked on a single retailer, maybe their ad would not have been banned.

    Also, if Australian consumers were prepared to pay for Australian made product, there wouldn’t be a reason to manufacture in China. There’s a reason there is almost no industry left in this country, it’s because people would prefer to save $100 (or maybe $1,000 in the case of furniture) rather than support Aussie made.

    There is a demand for furniture (as well as flooring etc) made from Tassie oak and Victorian ash and blackbutt. People don’t want to pay too much for it, though. Harvey Norman has found a way to supply the demand – good on them!

    As it happens, they adopt stricter timber sustainability guidelines for their suppliers than any other Australian retailer – they should be commended, not vilified. They are also the only ones who advertise the benefits of Australian made. GetUp need to take a good look at themselves.

    By the way my company’s product is imported but does not feature Australian timbers.

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