Australian Politics


Dastayari Affair reaches Washington

Via the ABC: Leading American political figures have seized on the Sam Dastyari scandal to highlight the threats posed by Beijing to Western democracies. A bipartisan congressional-executive commission on China has heard evidence of growing Communist Party influence in the United States, and towards allies such as Australia and New Zealand. The donations scandal that ended


Credlin: Give us a debate and vote on Australia’s population

By Leith van Onselen Chief of Staff to former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, is the latest to question Australia’s mass immigration program, which flooded NSW (read Sydney) and VIC (read Melbourne) with a record 185,500 net overseas migrants (combined) in the year to June, further crush-loading our two biggest cities: Last night, Ms


Australia’s China meltdown turns nuclear

Via The Australian: Australia’s ambassador to China has been called into the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a dressing down over the Turnbull government’s foreign interference laws amid accusations by Beijing that anti-China ­rhetoric is damaging the relationship. In a sign of the increasing tensions between the two governments, Jan Adams was officially summoned


Has Beijing handed Bennelong to Labor?

From The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull admitted today the government is “fighting to hold” Bennelong ahead of this weekend’s crucial by-election. “We’re focused on winning but the polls are very tight. We are fighting to hold that seat,” the prime minister said, before joining Liberal candidate John Alexander for another media event in the electorate. Mr


ACCC: Gas cartel still gougin’ (and it’ll get worse)

Via the ACCC today: This is the second interim report of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry (‘the Inquiry’) into gas supply arrangements in Australia. The ACCC is focussing on the operation of the East Coast Gas Market, where there are continuing immediate and longer-term concerns. In the September 2017 report, the ACCC


Huang Dynasty engulfs Shorten as Dastayari goes

Via the ABC: Chinese billionaire Huang Xiangmo paid $55,000 to have lunch with Bill Shorten in October 2015, documents uncovered by the ABC reveal. The revelation comes as Mr Shorten faces pressure to expel senator Sam Dastyari from the Labor Party over his links to Mr Huang, who intelligence agencies warn is closely linked to the Chinese


Beijing Bob offers the Chinese olive branch

From Beijing Bob (Carr) today: Sooner or later Canberra is going to decide to reset its relationship with Beijing. In one year, or in five. Here are seven things that can make it possible. One, drop the stridency. Joe Hockey referred last week to China threatening what Australians “fought and died for”. Two, on foreign donations,


Time for a Federal anti-corruption watchdog

So say we: Three quarters of voters say there is a need for democratic renewal in the form of a federal anti-corruption commission and a tougher code of conduct for MPs, as part of wider reforms that would also see a rejuvenated public sector return to service delivery. However, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has played down


Black Hole Malcolm sucks in Bennelong

Doom looms for Black Hole Malcolm, via Newspoll: The Liberal Party’s primary vote in Bennelong has collapsed, leaving the Coalition and Labor in a ­tight race for the previously safe Liberal seat and the Turnbull government’s slim command of parliament in the hands of Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives. A Newspoll, conducted exclusively for The Australian


Is the Dastayari Affair an Australian Black Swan?

Yesterday we had two extraordinary political outbursts over China: Both major parties believe the controversy over Chinese interference in Australian politics will serve them well when Bennelong’s large Chinese-Australian population votes in the weekend’s by-election. Labor candidate Kristina Keneally opened the final week of campaigning arguing voters in the suburban Sydney electorate are alarmed by


Labor declares for China

Sometimes I don’t know where to look. It’s not treason, it’s a political wedge: Kristina Keneally has accused Malcolm Turnbull of “spreading China phobia” as the party attempts to make gains in the electorate of Bennelong from concerns about new foreign interference laws. “(Chinese Australians) see the suggestion from the Prime Minister that people from


Who’s overreacting here, Australia or China?

Here it is in lurid colour, from The New Daily: Nearly 80 per cent of the foreign donations made to Australia’s political parties since the year 2000 were linked to China, a study of electoral commission data has revealed. As Malcolm Turnbull vows to stand up to Beijing amid growing concerns over foreign interference, an analysis


ASIO: Manchurian candidates infiltrating elections

Via The Australian: ASIO has identified about 10 ­political candidates at state and local government elections whom it believes have close ties to Chinese intelligence services, in what sec­urity officials assess as a deliberate strategy by Beijing to wield influence through Australian politics. Days after the Turnbull ­government unveiled a package of measures aimed at


Recidivist Robb, the special flower

Via The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull and top cabinet ministers have been slapped with a stinging rebuke from a former senior colleague over their plan to target “covert” agents who work for foreign ­powers, amid a political storm over Chinese influence in national affairs. Former trade minister Andrew Robb, who masterminded John Howard’s 1996 election victory,


I, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords

And for good reason. China has proven to be much more interested in Australian’s welfare than our own leaders have. It is China that has stopped the flow of capital into Australian property, not local leaders. It is China that wants an extradition treaty so it can retrieve corrupt officials and money from Australian markets,


Keating forced to register as Chinese “foreign agent”?

Deary me: Former Prime Minister Paul Keating might have to register on the Turnbull government’s agents of foreign influence list because he sits on an advisory council for a Chinese government development bank, Fairfax Media understands. Mr Keating has made strong public remarks that Australia should pursue a foreign policy that is more independent of


Chinese CCP mouthpiece lashes Australian student trade

The economic saber-rattling goes on as we take the thoroughly reprehensible step of banning foreign bribes in Parliament. Via The CCP mouthpiece Global Times: With a growing number of Chinese students going to study in Australia, many Australian universities are becoming financially dependent on international students. The field of international education, which is worth AUD


13 more foreigners running the country

Disintegration is upon us: Labor frontbencher Tony Burke has predicted a “very large” round of referrals to the High Court over the worsening dual citizenship fiasco, with up to 13 MPs at risk of becoming fresh casualties. While Mr Burke promised to refer embattled Labor MP David Feeney if he can’t stump up the relevant documents, Attorney-General


“Stooge of China” Robb gets his comeuppance

MB did its best to bring Andrew Robb some justice. Now his own government is doing it (having previously defended him of course): Amid an uproar over Chinese payments to Labor senator Sam Dastyari, the Prime Minister outlined sweeping criminal penalties on “agents” who do the bidding of foreign states to undermine Australian policies. …Under


Black Hole Malcolm crops himself from Huang photo

Get a load of Australia’s McCarthyism circus: Labor’s Tony Burke uses a prop to question Malcom Turnbull about cropping himself out of a photo his media team distributed yesterday showing Bill Shorten with controversial Chinese donor Huang Xiangmo. Burke showed the full photo which also had both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader with


Services PMI remains lackluster

From the AIG: • The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Services Index (Australian PSI®) lifted 0.3 points to 51.7 in November (seasonally adjusted), indicating a similar pace of slow growth to October. Australian PSI® results above 50 points indicate expansion, with higher numbers indicating stronger rates of growth. • Four of the five activity


NSW Liberals revolt against $2 billion stadium pork

By Leith van Onselen I noted a fortnight ago how the NSW State Government appeared to have hit ‘peak stupid’ in deciding to spend $2 billion to demolish and rebuild the Olympic Stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium, both of which are perfectly fit-for-purpose and underutilised. Now, state MPs have revolted against the decision, labeling


Another Black Hole Malcolm poll crashes

Via The Guardian: A majority of Australians polled in the latest Guardian Essential survey said a leadership change within the Liberal party would make no difference to their vote at the next federal election. Asked whether a leadership change would make them more or less likely to vote for the Liberal party, 18% of the Guardian Essential


Let’s burn Canberra to the ground

Peter Hartcher has the right idea for the wrong reason: The message is loud and clear: The Australian people want their sovereignty back. There are two pieces of fresh evidence. First, it’s the message from today’s Fairfax-Ipsos poll. After months of political debate, Malcolm Turnbull has announced a royal commission into the banking sector. Asked