A Melbourne businessman has hit back after receiving backlash for an “obscene” display of wealth during a time when so many Aussies are struggling.
Entrepreneur and tech businessman Adrian Portelli caused a stir this week after paying to have his $3 million car placed into his $39 million penthouse.
The 34-year-old hired a crane to lift his McLaren Senna GTR the 57 floors to the top of Melbourne’s Sapphire by the Gardens building on Exhibition Street.
The entire side of the building had to be deconstructed to make way for the vehicle.
Portelli said he hoped he could “motivate and inspire people to want to succeed”.
However, there were many Aussies that felt anything but “motivated” by the display, with many branding the move “gross”, “tasteless” and “obscene” amid the cost of living crisis.
Now, the 34-year-old has responded to the backlash, taking to his Instagram stories to defend his decision.
“First my name was trashed publicly suggesting I was a dummy bidder and couldn’t afford The Block house. Even suggesting I was friends with the contestants because of my ethnicity,” he wrote.
“Now these people are crying because I’ve got ‘too much money’. MAKE UP YOUR MIND PEOPLE.”
The McLaren Senna GTR was lifted 57 floors to his penthouse apartment. Picture: Adrian Portelli/InstagramAdrian Portelli with his $3m McLaren after it was craned into his Melbourne penthouse. Picture: Supplied
Portelli first made headlines when after bidding $4.5 million to buy his first-ever home on The Block’s Season 18 in November.
Portelli also shared a story from Melbourne photographer Carlz J Söda, in which she defended him, questioning why his actions bothered people “so much”.
“Adrian is a self-made man who grinded it out for a decade. He sacrificed so much and ultimately it paid off and now he can create insane marketing campaigns like this. This is marketing. Everyone knows who he is now. It’s absolutely brilliant,” she wrote.
“Instead of letting it motivate you to put more effort in and to show up, you’re salty because he has so much more than others. That’s what’s wrong with the world today.”
Portelli responded to the backlash on his Instagram stories. Picture: Adrian Portelli/Instagram
She added that instead of “being inspired” by Portelli’s actions, people would rather “complain to other mediocre morons on the internet”.
“Well said,” Portelli added when sharing the comments.
He also lashed out at Greens leader Adam Bandt, writing: “Don’t vote. Who the fook is this guy trying to use me as a political tool to sympathise”.
This comes after Bandt weighed in on the drama, tweeting: “Labor’s giving this guy a $9000 tax cut while people starve on $52 a day.”
He shared posts from other people defending his actions. Picture: Adrian Portelli/InstagramThe 34-year-old also didn’t like the fact that Greens leader Adam Bandt weighed in on the drama. Picture: Adrian Portelli/Instagram
The Albanese government’s decision not to roll back Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich brought in by the Morrison government — and supported by Labor — has caused an uproar in recent days.
This means high income earners are set to get thousands in tax relief next year, with workers earning over $200,000 to get a whopping $9000 a year tax cut.
By comparison, this year’s budget included a $20 a week increase for Australians on welfare, such as those receiving Jobseeker, Youth Allowance and Austudy.
There were plenty of other people that shared a similar distaste for Portelli’s actions, with one Facebook user noting there was a lot wealthy people could do to make a big change in the lives of people who are struggling.
“Then you get someone like this. Can it get any more gross?” they asked.
Another said: “This is why we have inflation. The rich get richer, the rest of us carry the load. Lets have a discussion about fairly taxing the super rich and spreading equality of wealth. If not, watch economies crash all around the world.”
A Reddit post on Portelli also sparked hundreds of comments from outraged Aussies.
“Nobody should have this sort of money,” one person said.
Another branded the move the “epitome of what is wrong with the world today”.
Not everyone was impressed by the display of wealth.The car is now the ‘centrepiece’ of the home. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
ANU Professor and columnist, Mark Kenny, branded the move “typically tasteless”.
“Why do media keep implicitly lauding such obscene displays of wealth and ego?” he asked.
Head of consumer research at Finder, Graham Cooke, told news.com.au that big displays of wealth can seem “out of touch when nearly half of renters tell Finder that they are struggling to keep a roof over their heads”.
“Flaunting expensive possessions or lavish lifestyles can sometimes unintentionally come across as insensitive or tone-deaf.”
Finder’s Cost of Living Report 2023 found nearly one in three Aussies have asked friends or family for financial help in the past 12 months.
Though Mr Cooke said this is not to say people should be ashamed of their wealth or success.
“It’s natural to want to enjoy spending earned money and indulging in the occasional luxury – and remember, the crane driver likely has a family to support too – but it is important to be mindful,” he said.
“Not everyone has the same opportunities or resources.”
Despite the backlash, there were those that defended Portelli, saying he has every right to use his money as he see’s fit and accusing others of being “jealous”.
“All the cranky people are just jealous that they can’t fit a million dollar supercar into their homes for decoration,” one Facebook user said.
“I don’t see the problem here, the guys got to do what he wants to do. Good on him,” another person wrote.
Portelli is believed to have a net worth of $350 million, making his fortune through a tech start-up in Los Angeles.
Man cranes car into 57th floor penthouse‘Lambo guy’ buys unsold Block house
The car enthusiast now works in online promotions from Melbourne where he runs the LMCT+ business that he started in 2018.
In August last year, he reportedly bought a Gold Coast mansion for $2.3m.
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