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We’ve got to get serious here

When the head of ASIO is telling us that we’re under threat like never before, we need some leadership to call out what’s happening and demand we do something about it.

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I gave a speech on China and foreign interference

It's about bloody time both major parties woke up to China's attempts to infiltrate our economy and our democracy.

Here are some of the highlights if you don't have time to watch the video.

Dirty money

First of all we hear about a wealthy Chinese donor handing over an Aldi bag of cash to the New South Wales Labor Party. It contained $100,000. They tried to hide where it came from by splitting up the money and making it look like it came from a bunch of small donors. Does anyone really believe that money was handed over with no strings attached? Please! Does anyone really believe that it was just a friendly way for a Chinese property developer to support our democracy? I don't think anyone believes it. You might believe it in here, you lot on this side and that side, but I'll tell you what: the rest of the country isn't buying into it. Everyone knows that the communist Chinese government uses money to influence our political processes. Everyone knows that money opens doors and starts conversations, especially in the Australian parliament. Everyone knows that these sorts of activities are undermining our national interest.

Trying to get elected in the chamber

Now we've heard that Chinese attempts to infiltrate our politics go even further. It keeps getting better! They're not just trying to influence politicians with money; they're trying to get elected to sit in this chamber. In the dark side and over the other side too—wherever they can buy or get seats in the Australian parliament, they're coming. This is really something else, isn't it? To you watching and listening out there, to the Australian public, this is something else, isn't it? It's an absolute shocker to think that someone who has links to a Chinese communist party could waltz in here on the back of a major party ticket. It's unbelievable. But the problem is it's not unbelievable anymore. They're coming. It's not just the Communist Party agents who will be privy to internal conversations about policy priorities and the agendas of the major parties; it also gives them a chance to look for weaknesses, to hear the gossip that goes around this place and potentially use that to influence or even blackmail people. There are no security checks. There's little to stop it from happening. It's absolutely beyond shocking.

It's time for a national strategy

It's about time we developed a national strategy to handle this relationship. We have to start putting in more protections against China's attempts to influence our political processes. We have to pull back our economic reliance on them to buy up all our exports. We need to think more carefully about how much more we can share of our research and innovation. This government can and should be doing more to protect our way of life and our Australian values. They can and should protect Australia from the influence of communist China. We desperately, desperately need to start having these conversations now. I can tell you now, we are chasing our tail. We are chasing our tail, and we will continue to do that, and that will get harder unless you stand up and be brave and show some courage.
What's wrong with having these inquiries? What are you scared of? Not getting your brown paper bags with cash in them? Come on. You owe it to every Australian to have this conversation now. We need to know that the government has this under control, and you do not. We need to know that we have a plan for how to deal with this. At the moment it looks like you've taken your hands off the wheel. You have taken your hands off the wheel. It's been off that damn wheel for a long time. Labor and the coalition, I'm begging you, for the sake of this country, let's get this inquiry started. Let's get the ball rolling on this. Until we do, we're leaving our economy and our democracy exposed.

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