NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has refused to issue an unconditional apology for saying young people were forced to "flee" Sydney because their jobs were being taken by educated Asians.
The opposition leader on Tuesday admitted he could have used better language and said he was sorry if anyone was offended by the comments he made in September during a Blue Mountains pub forum.
But he declined numerous opportunities to apologise without qualification during a 40-minute press conference outside Allianz Stadium.
"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 a public function in Wentworth Falls in September.
"So there's a transformation happening in Sydney now where our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs."
Mr Daley on Tuesday said the problem wasn't people coming from Asia but housing affordability in Sydney, which he says has already forced his daughter to move to Melbourne.
"I have conceded that my language could have been better, I've readily acknowledged that and if anyone has taken offence to what I've said, I do apologise," he told reporters.
"But I did make the point, and I make the point again today, that Sydney is becoming an increasingly difficult place to live in. Commutes are longer, people are having to move further away from the CBD, a fifth of Sydney families are suffering rental stress."
Mr Daley also addressed reports police were speaking to Finance Minister Victor Dominello's office over the potential leaking of the Labor leader's private information.
The Sydney Morning Herald in February reported Mr Daley's office had used an MPs' hotline to contact Revenue NSW about a speeding fine in his name.
Mr Daley reported the matter to police as a breach of privacy. He made clear his wife had been driving at the time.
Mr Dominello on Tuesday said in a statement "my office has been contacted by the police and are assisting them with their investigation".
Mr Daley told reporters: "The only way the details could have found their way into the media of my driving record and my wife's (record) was for someone to breach that confidential database."
Australian Associated Press