Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie, has called on the Liberal, National and Labor Parties to give a guarantee that $5.5M worth of political donations they received from people linked to the Chinese government - have not influenced their approach and attitude to the Chinese Free Trade deal. (ChAFTA)
“Figures made public by the AEC and detailed in a speech I made to the Senate:
.. combined with research from the ABC’s Dylan Welsh and Jodie Noyce:
… show that since 2007-08 till present day, almost $5.5M has been donated to the Liberal, National and Labor parties of Australia by 3 businessmen strongly linked to the Chinese government.
There could be more political gifts linked to China, however without a Senate investigation we’ll never know.” said Senator Lambie.
“ Now, given the media reports uncovering the extremely dodgy nature of Australia’s ChAFTA deal, http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3403473/china-free-trade-agreement-to-invite-wave-of-chinese-workers-drive-down-wages-report/?cs=12
… the key question I’d like all our major political parties to answer is:
What influence has that money bought - and are we seeing a political payoff for the Chinese Government, in the current ChAFTA deal?” said Senator Lambie.
“I have grave reservations about the Liberal’s free trade deal with the Communist Government of China who is a proven security threat, an international bully, thief and liar. In any deal with Communist China, I want a guarantee that Australian workers' jobs and our national sovereignty are properly protected.
With the current ISDS (investor state dispute settlement) clauses located in ChAFTA - China can sue Australia if it feels its businesses are hampered by any new legislation passed by our parliaments.
This is a direct attack on our national sovereignty by a country, which is a serious security risk to Australia, our allies and a serial human rights abuser .” said Senator Lambie.
“A memorandum of understanding allowing for Investment Facilitation Arrangements (IFA) on large infrastructure development projects above $150m allows for "increased labor flexibilities" - or in other words, it opens the door for Australian workers' jobs to be taken by imported Chinese labour.
The deal also allows decreased scrutiny of Chinese government investment in Australia by raising screening thresholds for the Foreign Investment Review Board from $248M to $1.078B.
The government's own figures show that Chinese investment in Australia has sky rocketed in the last 10 years from $3B to $32B – or almost the same amount of total Chinese investment in America - without a free trade deal.
So it stands to reason, that if the Senate rejects this deal, history indicates there won't be any great halt to Chinese investment in Australia. It just means that future Chinese government investment in Australia will be better controlled, measured, and scrutinized.” said Senator Lambie.