Australian Politics

10

WA Coalition throws deck chairs as it sinks

From The Australian: West Australian Premier Colin Barnett is facing his first leadership challenge after eight years in power after former transport minister Dean Nalder said today he would nominate if a spill motion is put forward at a Liberal Party meeting on Tuesday. It is expected that one of Mr Nalder’s colleagues — some

52

Accused Sudan General buys property under FIRB’s nose

The corruption of Australia rolls on at The Guardian: A former South Sudanese army general has been thrown into the spotlight after it was revealed he paid $1.5m for a home in Melbourne’s south-east despite earning just A$60,000 a year. The revelation comes in the first report released by The Sentry, an investigative organisation founded

35

Chinese embassy slams US ambassador

From The Australian: In a statement to The Australian, a spokesman for China’s ­embassy in Canberra said his country was surprised and disappointed with “some US senior ­official’s comments on China” and that such “unfounded allegations” were echoed through the media. “We noted that some people always love to give lectures like a preacher about

17

Billionaire’s Get Up torpedoes Pyne subs

From The Guardian: South Australia’s premier, Jay Weatherill, has hit back at criticism from prominent businessmen of the federal government’s decision to build French-designed submarines in Adelaide. A group of businessman, including Dick Smith and John Singleton, took out a full-page advertisement in the Australian on Tuesday describing the decision as “astonishing” and potentially a

12

Why is the media not forcing FIRB chair Brian Wilson to quit?

As I noted last week at The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to giving the green light or blocking key foreign investment moves. The US-listed, Washington-based

3

Australia’s China choice

From The National Interest comes Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security and recently served as the inaugural Alliance 21 Fellow at the University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre: A senior U.S. Army officer recently generated headlines on both sides of the Pacific by highlighting the strategic and economic challenges facing Australia

6

FIRB chair Brian Wilson must resign on sovereign risk

As I noted last week at The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to giving the green light or blocking key foreign investment moves. The US-listed, Washington-based

23

Bob Carr (or is that Yuhu Group?) fights back!

Bob Carr made a fist of defending himself at The Australian over the weekend: Some of the commentary unleashed in the past week has been a defamation of this successful Chinese diaspora. …None of us knows the character China will assume domestically — it could be a transition like Singapore’s (or Taiwan’s, or South Korea’s)

7

FIRB chairman Brian Wilson must resign for national security

As I noted last week at The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to giving the green light or blocking key foreign investment moves. The US-listed, Washington-based

47

Pascometer burns red on China panic

The Pascometer has wandered onto new territory today in tackling international relations and Australia’s relationship with China: The fallout from Sam Dastyari’s entitlement and stupidity is considerably greater than his unimportant political career. The immediately obvious stuff is the embarrassment for Labor, the gift for the government, the impetus for a federal ICAC (if either major party had

29

Prime Minister Abbott proposes sweeping donations ban

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is out with a sweeping policy reform package to donations, from Domainfax: Former prime minister Tony Abbott has outlined a sweeping plan for reform of Australia’s political donations system that would ban payments from unions, companies and overseas donors. …While opposition leader in May 2013, Mr Abbott backed out on a donation

24

Heat on waffling Turnbull to ban foreign donations

From Domainfax: The committee Malcolm Turnbull insists is the best way to reform Australia’s political donations system has not been formed, has not been asked to examine the issue and routinely had its past recommendations ignored. …Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said on Thursday he would introduce a private members’ bill to ban all foreign donations

13

Horribly conflicted FIRB chairman Brian Wilson must resign

As I noted earlier this week at The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to giving the green light or blocking key foreign investment moves. The US-listed,

39

Well done Sam Dastyari

From Sam Dastyari viaDomainfax: Senator Sam Dastyari has stood down from the Labor frontbench amid a political storm over personal payments he received from Beijing-linked donors and comments he reportedly made supporting China’s position on the South China Sea. He said while he disclosed the two payments on parliamentary registers, he was stepping down as

40

Morrison releases foreign farm ownership study

From Treasurer Morrison The Turnbull Government today released Australia’s first report from the Agricultural Land Register, delivering on our commitment to increase scrutiny and transparency in Australian agriculture. The Land Register shows foreign investors hold just 13.6 per cent of all Australian agricultural land. The United Kingdom is Australia’s principal source of investment in agriculture

57

Dastyari has to go

I like Sam Dastyari. He has more balls than most. But he’s put them in a Chinese sling and he has to go, from The Australian: Labor senator Sam Dastyari has apologised for accepting money from Chinese companies amid fresh revelations the Yuhu group, which paid a $40,000 legal bill for the frontbencher, has formal

111

The corruption of Australia

Being a blogging skeptic and policy critic I am always amused when I read rating agencies assessments of political economy like that offered recently by Moody’s: Very strong institutional and policy framework. Australia’s monetary policy and banking regulation and supervision are vigilant and responsive to economic and financial conditions. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has

21

FIRB chairman Brian Wilson must resign for the good of his country

As I noted yesterday, from The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to giving the green light or blocking key foreign investment moves. The US-listed, Washington-based

8

Bob Carr’s “China whatever” think tank takes righteous pounding

This morning I defended the second track diplomacy activities of Bob Carr’s Yuhu Group funded think tank but the AFR is not so kind: Research from a Beijing-linked University of Technology, Sydney think tank was used to justify the decision to sign the free-trade agreement with China and join the Asian Infrastructure Bank in parliamentary debates.

59

FIRB WTF as conflicted chair to keep old and new jobs

In the land of policy rent-seeking it’s not easy to find new lows but today we have one, from The Australian: Foreign Investment Review Board chairman Brian Wilson has accepted a role as adviser to the $180 billion private equity giant, the Carlyle Group, potentially putting the former investment banker in conflict when it comes to

10

Turnbull launches foreign bribery probe, for everywhere else

In a case of true Kafkaesque synchronicity, the Turnbull Government has moved to strengthen its regime against foreign bribery, everywhere except Australia, from Domainfax: The federal government will hire a new team of specialist anti-corruption investigators in Perth after a series of revelations in Fairfax Media about high-level foreign bribery, including at WA mining company Sundance Resources.

57

Very obviously, Dastyari should resign

From the AFR: Labor Senator Sam Dastyari pledged to respect China’s position on the South China Sea at an election campaign press conference he held with a Chinese political donor who had previously paid his legal bills. …The Coalition has accused the senator of destabilising Australian foreign policy in making the comments as they contravene