This is what it has come to, via The Australian:
ASIO is monitoring and advising the Andrews government on its controversial Belt and Road agreement, amid a dramatic surge in deals that have helped create a $10bn Chinese-Victorian export market.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has revealed Australia’s peak intelligence agency is monitoring the initiative as the state prepares to rewrite its trade strategy with China due to unprecedented export agreements.
Amid warnings from security experts that state and local governments are ill-equipped to protect themselves against the political influence China seeks to exert through Belt and Road, Mr Andrews told The Weekend Australian he did not believe he had ever contravened ASIO advice.
…“I get briefings from ASIO and others on a regular basis,” Mr Andrews said in an interview ahead of the fifth anniversary of his election next Friday. “I don’t think that anything we’ve done is inconsistent with the advice that we receive. It’s not for me to determine who the big telecommunications deals are done with. It’s not for me to determine who wins defence procurement contracts.
“We’re talking about building road and rail, exporting wine and beef, building aged-care facilities in China and that building being done by Aussie firms, Victorian firms. We make no apology for trying to give Victorian businesses the inside running in the biggest market in the world.”
There was a time not long ago when this kind of information would end a political career.
What a joke.
He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.
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