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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Foreign Investment Wednesday, 25 November 2015 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Turnbull, Malcolm, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:22): My question is to the Prime Minister. Chinese government companies control ports of Newcastle and Darwin, and they are seeking to control the port of Cape Preston in the Pilbara and the port of Melbourne. Newcastle port charges have gone up 43 per cent. If the Chinese government control ports, they control our economy; they decide what is exported and manipulate prices and port charges. We cannot buy ports in China. Should our ports be controlled by the Chinese communist party? Will the government exercise its powers to resume these ports for Australia’s national economic security? Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:22): I thank the honourable member for his question. I remember the halcyon days when he was one of the leading friends of China. He was a Chinese prince. I remember when the honourable member was going to build a new version of the Titanic in China. Those were halcyon days, but, sadly, many love affairs come to an end, and clearly the member for Fairfax’s love affair with China has also come to an end. If I can turn to the question that the member asked, No. 1: our foreign investment framework is administered in Australia’s national interest, full stop. Mr Champion interjecting— The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield is now warned! Mr TURNBULL: That is the objective: we administer in our national interest. We have always been a capital importer; we welcome foreign investment, but there are rules and there are processes. The honourable member raises the issue of the port of Darwin. I make this observation: the decision by the Northern Territory government to lease the commercial port of Darwin was an open process on the public record since early 2014. The Northern Territory government undertook that lease in close consultation with the Commonwealth, including the Department of Defence, our security service and a number of other agencies. The defence department negotiated a deed of licence with the Darwin Port Corporation, defining access and contingency requirements for the winning bidder. Treasury and Defence undertook a careful analysis of the Landbridge bid, consulting widely across all the relevant government agencies. The Department of Defence has repeatedly stated that it does not have any security or access concerns with the lease. Clive Palmer and constituents in Mandurah, WA Clive Palmer addresses Australian Union of Jewish Students The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia 157


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