Taking to the stage at the 50th festival for the opening address, Greer (pictured above in Melbourne last month) launched into an attack not just on the local population, citing statistics that backed up her literacy point, as well as going on to trash the publishing industry and education system. 

“The problem with creating more writers is that writers need readers…and one of the traps that lies in wait here is vanity,”  Greer said, as reported in The Sydney Courier Mail. 

“Publishers, as much as they make us mad, make our work public. Amateurs don’t understand that a book needs to be designed – even if it’s type face and cover – and if you cannot attract an agent then it’s back to the drawing board, not going along with your cheque book.

“It’s just cruel exploitation of vulnerable people.”

Her remarks, made to a stunned room of 250 people at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, have reaped a backlash from many media commentators, who have warned that Greer should choose her words more carefully in future or risk alienating a whole nation and burning her bridges for good.

Greer got into trouble recently by saying Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had a “big arse.” Watch the video below for some chuckles.

Photo: Getty.