Pollies embrace foreign donations ban

Via Domainfax:

Foreign spies, lobbyists and donations will be targeted under sweeping new laws that seek to fight interference with Australia’s democratic institutions and influence on politicians.

Confirming on Tuesday the completion of a review into espionage and foreign interference laws, Attorney-General George Brandis on Tuesday said the new laws would include a long-awaited ban on foreign donations and a US-style foreign agents’ register.

Attorney-General George Brandis says the Government is developing new legislation to combat foreign spying and interference in Australian affairs.

The tougher sanctions will tackle covert foreign interference, “a problem of the highest order [that] is getting worse” according to Senator Brandis.

“The Director-General of ASIO, the agency primarily responsible for investigating espionage, has advised that foreign intelligence activity against Australia continues to occur on an unprecedented scale. Espionage and covert foreign interference can cause immense harm to our economic prosperity and the very integrity of Australian democracy,” he said, while also pointing to interference in the elections of other liberal democracies, such as by Russia in the 2016 US Presidential election.

The new laws will include “legislation to ban foreign political donations, legislation to enhance and reform the espionage and foreign interference related offences in the Criminal Code, and introducing a foreign influence transparency scheme, modelled in part on the United States’s foreign agents registration act”.

What about in universities and, for that matter, the biggest bribe of all in house prices? Ban the lot.


  1. Why not ban all political donations? I mean, presumably all a foreign power would need to do is set up a local company and channel donations through there and they’d be fine…

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Here’s is the link to the Blog if reading Pascoe’s manufactured outrage is too much


        “They offered us a large salary and said we could take our money out of China if we joined the program. They wanted us to apply for immigration to Australia. If we are accepted, we had to buy 4 houses. They said they would give us the money to buy the houses….. They said the reasons were:

        Chinese domination of real estate and economy
        * Make a large number of Chinese Australian citizens who can vote for CCP approved candidate
        * Make Chinese the ownership class in Australian society and make Australians depend on Chinese to live
        * They said that by doing this, then before 2060 they wanted Australia to be controlled by China. Like Hong Kong.”

      • Ryde Council already has its Chinese Communist Party representatives. Now we have a very important by-election happening there:


        “Fairfax Media has previously reported that Mr Zhou is a close political ally of Huang Xiangmo, a Chinese Community Party-aligned billionaire, whose donations to both major parties prompted ASIO to express its concern to party officials.”


      • Stewie,
        It wouldn’t surprise me if such a plot did exist at some point, though I expect they may have been surprised at the market response, how high prices went and how little they were able to get for their money (this guy says this happened in 2011, a long time prior to the clampdowns on outflows).

        Their other fear must be that rather than the diaspora staying a tool of the CCP, they start to embrace democracy and become opponents of the CCP, as earlier generations of Chinese immigrants usually are. Its is probably time we launched a propaganda war of our own in the Chinese language media.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It’s crazy Dan – I’m skeptical by nature, I read that article and I didn’t believe it, but there is a degree of plausibility there. I’m no journalist, but I mean WTF, the allegation is so serious I would have thought a real journalist could have taken 5mins to type out an email to the guy who wrote it, FFS the dued even left his email address at the bottom of the article:

        [email protected]

        It wouldn’t take much effort to try and arrange a phone call or a meeting, and quickly ascertain if he was a nut-job or playing games…. the other issue is, it didn’t read like a nut job. A few grammar mistakes, but lots of little details… I dunno. I was prepared and expecting for Pascoe to mock me, call me a foil beanie wearer or whatever – and at the time the way I felt about the article I would have happily worn it…… but his reaction???? Bloody hell, the guy virtually detonated on contact.

      • Some things are incontrovertible facts, for which there is abundant evidence:

        -the CCP owns a lot of property in Australia
        -the CCP owns a lot of businesses and infrastructure in Australia (via various SOEs)
        -the CCP controls most of the Chinese language media in Australia
        -the CCP controls the main Chinese student associations at the universities
        -the CCP funds the universities via its Confucius Institutes, by direct funding for research and by indirect funding of propaganda outlets like ACRI
        -the CCP (via China Daily) funds the mainstream media including Fairfax
        -CCP affiliated individuals and organizations have made large donations to political parties and fielded candidates in elections
        -CCP affiliated individuals and organizations have actively recruited ex-politicians, public servants and academics.

        The only thing missing is evidence that connects all of these as part of some long term strategic goal, but I think its highly plausible.

      • @Stewie better choices of journo to investigate this kind of thing maybe @ one of Alex Joske, Phillip Wen, Michael Sainsbury, John Garnaut

      • Chinese students in Sydney are encouraged to take over the Universities they attend by the CCP.

        ‘Panda Warriors’ won and had eight candidates elected to the Syndey UNI Student Representative Council at elections.

        Panda Warriors are demand:
        – Discounted fees for International students
        – Concession fares on public transport
        – Multi-lingual support for housing, academic, and tenancy.
        – University closes on Chinese New Year week

    • So in essence seen to be doing something but actually they are doing nothing? What about so called local chinese directly linked to the communist party??? Dont think it will deter their meddling.

      • Token wrist slap action. All good. Like this is going to stop the Chinese taking over Australia. Not.

      • I don’t see the problem. If we are dumb enough to have a mass migration program then we are pretty much altering the composition of the Australian population. Liberal hippies will eventually see the problem but not when it’s too late and the democratic system they love produces outcomes they do not. I find it strange the same people who support feminism and SSM also support mass migration. I’d like to see how the CCP deals with both. Maybe I should give up and just vote for them, they at least seem to have their national interests in order unlike the dumb white bogan of asia.

      • The upper echelons of the CCP are riddled with rent seekers no different to our own, except they are much more brutal in suppressing any criticism.

      • @ Dan – thats not entirely true. their rent seekers are substantially more competent than ours, in addition to be more brutal. knife cuts both ways i guess.

      • @T,
        I think its that their rent seekers are more rigidly organized internally, via membership of the CCP and status within a hierarchy. Ours are only a loose affiliation of mates and old boys.

    • Why not ban all political donations?

      How do people then fund their campaigns ? Do only the independently wealthy get to stand for election ?

    • No – closer reading reveals the legislation is a smokescreen to prevent criticism. Foreign donors can still donate via local lobbying groups, Property Council of Australia being one of the biggest.

      You didn’t think the Libs or Labour will cut off a main source of funding, did you? They have just added a layer of plausible deniability, and a layer of mates jobs.

  2. Foreign agents register ? That’s almost the entire Parliament isn’t it ? And thier not donations. They’re payment for services rendered. And is it going to target payments made on behalf of politicians. Like if a former prime ministers daughter gets a scholarship from a political supporting institution that has never given out a scholarship before. Or like getting a foreign business man to pay a labour politicians bills

  3. We’re the only country that hasn’t yet blamed the Russians for something or other. Poor guys must be wondering, WTF?!

    Nvm, there’s always the next election after which Turnbull can blame ole Vlad for his loss.