"Australia-China political relations had "turned to custard" and . The Landbridge Group was awarded a 99-year lease over the Port of Darwin last year in a $506 million deal with the Northern Territory Government that sparked concerns at the highest levels of the Australian Defence Force. "Oh, that was like 7 years ago," said Dutton about Former Trade Minister Andrew Robb's advocacy to give Chinese company Landbridge a 99-year lease to the Port of Darwin. Back then it was criticised over national security implications, and drew a rebuke from former US president Barack Obama. According to an official Chinese government statement, the park is designed to capitalise on the China Australia Free Trade Agreement as well as Mr Ye's purchase of the Darwin port. Mr Ye frames much of his business activity, including the acquisition of the Port of Darwin lease, in terms of advancing Beijing's ambitious global trade and infrastructure policy "One Belt, One Road". The Chinese company that upset the defence establishment by buying the Port of Darwin is looking for oil and gas acquisitions in Northern Australia to boost trade through the commercial port. Our focus is investigations into big business, particularly multinational tax avoidance, banking and the energy sector. And just last week, Landbridge (a private company, despite links to the Chinese Government) started official construction on a new $200 million luxury hotel on the Darwin waterfront. Andrew Robb, federal minister for trade and investment said . While the centre of US-Chinese tensions is the South China Sea where China has militarised reefs in disputed waters Darwin is important because it is the southern flank of US operations in the Pacific. "Landbridge's commitment to the growth of the Port of Darwin will be a huge spur to the development of Australia's north, serving as a catalyst for the entry of major investment right across the port's upstream supply chain in agriculture, resources and energy and economic infrastructure," he told the Guardian in late 2015. "We love yuz all!" "Andrew has said he's aware of the ministerial code of conduct and he'll abide by it," she said. But it will not share any profit that Landbridge may eventually make. Then trade minister Andrew Robb is congratulated after he concluded the second reading debate on the China - Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2015. controversially acquired the 99-year lease for the Port of Darwin in 2015. Australia was the first Western country to break through the metaphorical Great Wall of China in terms of free trade, creating a trading environment no Western G20 economy has ever enjoyed. Following the election of the Abbott government in 2013, Robb was appointed Minister for Trade and Investment. Now, in a climate where national security concerns dominate the China relationship, the deal seems like a strange throwback to a simpler time a time when ministers like Andrew Robb and Josh Frydenberg could pose for photos with CCP-aligned Chinese billionaires, and when the relationship with our biggest trading partner was dominated by economic optimism. I remember when liberals sold off the Port of Darwin to China just so minister Andrew Robb, who authorised the sell off, could get a post politics grift. What set off the "latest scandal" was the breaking news former trade minister Andrew Robb would be an "economic consultant" to Landbridge - lessee of the Port. Mr Robb is one of several senior former Australian politicians who have been hired by or who hold roles funded by businesses or businessmen closely aligned to the Chinese Communist Party. A Critical Infrastructure Centre has been created to give extra national security advice. The arrangement, uncovered by a Fairfax Media-Four Corners investigation, involves monthly payments of $73,000 (including GST) to Mr Robb starting on July 1, 2016. "He has no credibility now, he left Parliament and went to work for Chinese interests," he said. Mr Brumby announced in February he was quitting the Australian board of Huawei, the Chinese telco accused by security agencies of posing a security risk to western communications infrastructure. In a November 2016 interview with the ABC, Mr Robb said that "most of what he [Mr Ye] wants me for is because of my knowledge of other countries and other governments. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. John Garrick does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. "He's now saying that any criticisms of improper Chinese behaviour attempting to influence our political system is our fault. [14], Robb is a board member of the Kidman cattle enterprise and the Network Ten television station. The lease, signed in 2015, is between the Northern Territory government and Landbridge Group, a Chinese company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party. When those loans come payable and the countries can't cover the debt, China assumes control of those infrastructure assets. Andrew John Robb AO (born 20 August 1951) is an Australian former politician. Theyll copy it if anything. [4] Dr Garrick said it was interesting to observe China's recent engagement in poor Pacific Island nations over the past few years, where the Asian economic superpower has developed a type of "blueprint" for strategic positioning. "Rather than being xenophobic about this, we need to be alive to the commercial deals that are being done and what might come later," Dr Garrick said. Mr Cheng's company, Landbridge Group, was embroiled in controversy when it was awarded a 99-year lease over the port of Darwin. Landbridge says if it happens then itll spike sovereign risk. Chinese influence compromises the integrity of our politics. [26] Robb disclosed that, since adolescence, he had suffered depression for several hours each day in the morning. Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time. It was a decision that baffled everyone from NT locals to Barack Obama, a strategic asset lease that slipped past the Foreign Investment Review Board and Defence. Fairfax Media and Four Corners are not suggesting that Mr Robb has breached his obligations as an ex-minister. Yes, in breaking through we have got a little bloodied, but our efforts were not in vain, and they must not be in vain. It is a far cry from the debt-trap colonialism China stands accused of using to gain leverage over other foreign governments, such as Sri Lanka and Nepal. Were sorry, this feature is currently unavailable. What about Andrew Robb? Absolute confidentiality is assured. Please try again later. Ministerial business that just happens to coincide with a grand final or a concert; electorate business that must be conducted in prime tourist locations, or at the same time as party fundraisers. But its immediate commercial risks are relatively contained. . Redirecting funding to pet hobbies; offering jobs to the boys without a proper tender process; secretly bankrolling candidates in elections; taking up private sector jobs in apparent breach of parliaments code of ethics, the list goes on. This story is part two in our look at the port as part of Curious Darwin, our story series where you ask us the questions, vote for your favourite, and we investigate. In 2003, Robb was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to politics, agriculture and the community.[6]. But others may have learnt valuable lessons too. Listen to the news in Warlpiri, Yolngu Matha and Kriol, Jock Zonfrillo, celebrated chef and judge on MasterChef Australia, dies aged 46, MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo remembered for 'wicked sense of humour', Lauren Cranston jailed for eight years over one of Australia's biggest tax frauds, Tony Abbott mounts attack on Voice after a spat with parliamentary committee, 'They will forever know their dad was a hero': 1,000 mourners farewell slain NSW paramedic, Nurse driving home from shift among victims of triple-fatal crash involving allegedly stolen car, There are 11 First Nations MPs and senators. That potential is a long way off. There are endless opportunities in Northern Australia; the trick is to have government truly engaged as a partner in attracting the critical investment dollars. . News State NT News Andrew Robb joins Chinese company with control of Darwin Port 3:40am, Oct 31, 2016 Updated: 3:48am, Oct 31 Andrew Robb joins Chinese company with control of Darwin Port Mr Robb, who quit as a minister in Malcolm Turnbull's government before the last election, previously denied working on behalf of Beijing, and defended his contract with Landbridge, saying he was not doing business in Australia, so could not be captured by the new scheme. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work. In April 2016, less than three months before his consultancy agreement began, Mr Robb visited China with an Australian delegation in his capacity as Australia's trade envoy. Mr Robb has confirmed that he has left Landbridge for the time being because, "at this stage, Landbridge has no other projects relevant for me to assist". This comes despite the fact they sold one of our most strategically positioned ports to a Chinese company with close links to the Chinese Communist Party in 2015. The ethics code for departing ministers bans them for a period of 18 months from lobbying or advocating to the government or public service on any matters they previously dealt with as a minister. The Landbridge group had been granted a 99-year lease on Port Darwin in 2015 during Robbs time as trade minister. Port in a storm: the Darwin lease made sense only a few years ago. Of course it's not our fault. Andrew Robb today completely rejected the assertions and innuendo made in a piece of gutter journalism in the Sunday Age newspaper. As the federal trade minister, Mr Robb did publicly support the Darwin Port deal, calling it a "powerful sign" of a commercial partnership between China and Australia through a free trade agreement he had helped establish. Any attempt by Landbridge to use the port as security to borrow money from a Chinese bank would trigger renegotiation of the lease. The was not without its controversy - even before Australia-China relations soured, as Andrew Robb, a former minister for trade, took an $880,000 consultancy position with the Chinese group immediately following his exit from politics in 2016. He is the Chairman of Asialink and CNSDose, and a strategic advisor to Beef Innovations Australia, as well as a range of national and international businesses. It invites reflection on the wisdom, three years ago, of the Northern Territory government deciding to lease the Port of Darwin (now known as Darwin Port) to a Chinese company for 99 years and of the federal government going along with it. "There's not enough evidence for them to do that, other than the sense that this is a dumb move, and why would you do this when the money is already gone and 96 years on the lease to go?" After embarrassing themselves by mangling some weird Relgious Discrimination Bill that even hardcore Christians werent that keen on, the Government is trying to convince the nation that we will be a Chinese-controlled territory if a Labor government is voted in at the next election. sea wife ending explained, does menards do cash back on debit card, sad birthday wishes for ex boyfriend,
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