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Gutwein in Denial on Chinese Government Concerns

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Tags: Trade, Antarctica, China, Chinese Communist Party, Local Government Elections

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, earlier today accused Tasmanians of “baseless” concerns about the relationship between the Tasmanian Liberals and the Chinese Communist Government, and the secret deals the Premier is negotiating on his extended visit to China.

In a press release earlier today, Mr Gutwein further sledged us for asking straight forward, public interest questions about potential organised electoral stacking of Tasmanian Local Government elections.

Minister Gutwein should can the abuse and answer the legitimate questions we asked. Unfortunately, we couldn’t ask the Premier these questions – he’s still on his extended trip to China.

We believe no Premier in the past thirty years has ever missed Parliament for a full week before, certainly never in order to cosy up to an authoritarian surveillance state which has embarked on an aggressive global expansion campaign that includes interests in Tasmania.  

There are 600 non-citizens who are on the General Manager’s roll, who are permitted to vote in October’s election. This is open to stacking to favour a particular candidate.  This too is a simple fact.

If the Minister thinks these are not problems, let him defend his opinion on its merits and let the people of Tasmania decide.

The Acting Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, himself admitted in Question Time yesterday that one of the objectives of this week’s trade visit is to “retain and build on Tasmania’s position as China’s preferred gateway to Antarctica”.

The Tasmanian people have a right to know the contents of these Memoranda of Understanding. They want to know the terms which will govern Tasmanians when they do business with government-connected mega-corporations from the largest and most powerful dictatorship in the world.

Late today, Parliament supported a Greens motion to have all Memoranda of Understanding between the State of Tasmania and Chinese government, and its entities, made public.

During the last term, the Liberals refused to publicly release multiple MOUs they signed with the Chinese government and its state-owned entities.