As housing prices plummet in capital cities across Australia, with clearance rates in Melbourne and Sydney slumping to about 50% and prices dropping by 2% in the March quarter, one of Australia’s wealthiest property developers launched a bizarre defence of the negative gearing, the regime that operates to help maintain artificially high property prices.

Eddie Kutner, a former accountant and one of the founders and chairman of Melbourne-based apartment developer Central Equity, wrote an impassioned defence of negative gearing in The Age last week. Central Equity is one of Melbourne’s largest developers, with the Financial Review reporting that it allegedly generated a $59 million profit last year, after being privatised by Kutner and co-founders Dennis Wilson and John Bourke in 2006 for $67.5 million.