ABOUT FOREIGN INFLUENCE LAWS …

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says he hopes the government enforces the foreign interference laws.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says he hopes the government enforces the foreign interference laws.CREDIT:AAP

Interesting comments … click the link below for more …

“Libs have cracked the political code – do nothing, say nothing and commit to nothing and then there can be no criticism, and that’s how elections are won.’

-exactly, although their inaction and covering up of systemic issues will lead the country to ruin.

Foreign influence laws and Peter Dutton a complete joke

By Houses and Holes in Australian PoliticsFeatured Article

November 28, 2019 | 34 comments

This is what Scummo sees as doing something about CCP influence operations in Australia, via Domain:

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/foreign-interference-scheme-targets-just-one-potential-agent-of-influence-20191127-p53ep5.html

Scott Morrison

Australia’s flagship foreign interference scheme has issued only one notice to a potential agent of influence, despite sending out more than 1500 letters, as former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull urged the Morrison government to enforce the controversial laws.

Fifty individuals and groups, including four former federal politicians, have registered under the government’s Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, but no Australian-based groups have declared any links to the Chinese government’s United Front Work Department.

Eight full-time staff have been deployed to administer the national security laws, which came into effect last year to crack down on foreign interference in Australian politics.

8 people.

This is what I’ve been banging on about regarding the grotesquely underfunded  National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator in Home Affairs.

Why has not been given a billion dollar budget to bring together an all of government approach to CCP activities? This is the only most basic pushback against foreign influence that we might expect. Hardly offensive to anyone or anything.

But Scummo and his phony hard man Peter Dutton only pretend to care about national security.

Though that is better than WA which doesn’t care at all, also at Domain:

https://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/diplomatic-diplomacy-wa-premier-says-human-rights-in-china-not-a-trade-issue-20191127-p53epm.html

WA Premier Mark McGowan believes it is in Australia’s interest to keep human rights issues in China separate to trade with the resource-hungry economic giant.

Speaking to media, including reporters from Chinese news outlets, at the Resources Technology Showcase in Perth on Wednesday Mr McGowan said WA’s export relationship with China created thousands of jobs, and concerns about human rights should be kept separate from that discussion.

…”I just don’t think they should impact someone who has a job on a mine site in the Pilbara or someone who has a job in a manufacturing plant in Perth. I think we need to ensure as far as possible we keep those issues different, separate.”

China needs iron ore whatever comes. And those people with jobs in the Pilbara also need their freedom.

China will push grovellers as far as they can so long as they kow tow.

Houses And Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/foreign-influence-laws-and-peter-dutton-a-complete-joke/#comments

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Aussie towns lash Coalition’s regional visa farce–

MANY of Australia’s regional areas are devoid of water ….

SYDNEY’s water supply is rapidly depleting … with more Vibrants flying in by the day …

China, India, across Asia, the United States, Europe …. all have many rivers crossing their continents

WHY come here? … Housing is too expensive … we are enduring a very long drought … with no end in sight!

A man walks along a long stretch of city beach.

The Gold Coast has several hospitals, universities and a population of more than 500,000 people, but it’s considered regional.

ABC NEWS: DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ

Aussie towns lash Coalition’s regional visa farce

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Economy

November 28, 2019 | 3 comments

Predictably, Australia’s towns are unhappy about the Morrison Government’s farcical deeming of Perth and the Gold Coast as “regional” despite being bonafide metropolitan areas:

Small regional towns like Swan Hill in Victoria are now competing for migrant workers against cities like Perth and the Gold Coast…

Jason King’s business needs workers with skills, but it’s a tough job to convince them to move to Swan Hill in regional Victoria.

Until now, he’s been able to offer migrant workers a regional visa, but that competitive advantage over many major centres has now gone.

The local council and employers are frustrated about a Federal Government declaration that anywhere outside of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney is now a “regional” area for migration.

That means skilled migrants who come to Australia on regional visas can work in places such as Perth and the Gold Coast, bypassing country towns, and still apply for permanent residency after three years.

“I can’t see how they’re regional at all,” said Jason King…

“It will be very hard for us to compete. I think Swan Hill won’t stand a chance, to be honest,” Mr King said.

“We struggle to source skilled labour here. We are so regionally based”…

Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart have been listed as regional for a while, but Perth, the Gold Coast and some other large urban centres are recent additions.

“It’s going to make it a lot more difficult to convince people to come to what is still outer regional, because migrants tend to want to go to things they’ve heard about and cities that resonate more for them,” said Muriel Scholz, the council’s economic development officer…

*Mr Versoza [from the Philippines] said guaranteed residency was a very important factor for him “because when you’ve got permanent residency the government offers to get your family and bring them back here to Australia, and it’s a very good place here”.

Let’s be frank: classifying places like Perth (2.1 million people), Adelaide (1.3 million people), the Gold Coast (600,000 people), and Canberra (420,000 people) regional was always ridiculous. They are unambiguously metropolitan, and employers in smaller towns like Swan Hill have been placed at an extraordinary disadvantage.

The Morrison Government’s new ‘regional’ visas are little more than a policy smokescreen to appease concerns surrounding the population crush in Sydney and Melbourne.

They do not fix the underlying problems with Australia’s immigration system: 1) that it is far too big, at roughly triple the historical average:

And 2) the small minority of migrants that initially go to the regions typically move to the big cities once they gain permanent residency, as explained by recent ANU research:

Australia cities are more attractive for new migrants.

An Australian National University study released Thursday found more than 60 per cent of migrants move to a capital city after about five years of living in a regional or remote location.

ANU material went as far as saying new migrants were “fleeing” regional Australia for better opportunities in the cities.

Australia has a number of visas that are designed to entice migrants to regional areas but the research suggests more needs to be done to keep them there.

ANU demographer Bernard Baffour told SBS News, “you can move migrants to areas, but you can’t force them to stay there”…

The study found Chinese-born migrants are more likely to settle in Sydney. Erin Chew of the Asian Australian Alliance said, “a lot of the Chinese people are city dwellers, so they want to live in [places] where there’s a huge concentration of their community”…

Elsewhere, Melbourne is the city of choice for most Indian-born migrants.

Short of placing electronic tags on migrants, how can decentralisation be achieved in practice when it has failed repeatedly in the past, with the visa system systematically gamed?

Let’s also remember that many of Australia’s regional areas are devoid of water. So how can they possibly accommodate many thousands of additional migrants?

The whole regional visa policy is a giant farce.

A facade of a traditional Australian town hall is seen among gardens.

PHOTO Swan Hill is a small town in regional Victoria.

ABC NEWS: DOMINIQUE SCHWARTZ

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/aussie-towns-lash-coalitions-regional-visa-farce/

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SCOMO Enjoys the Game of Mates…

Generalissimo Scummo enjoys the game of mates

IN conclusion …. ‘Something that must be creeping on up voters

ADD … PRIMING HOUSE PRICES for his property mates forcing people to borrow beyond their means  ….

Generalissimo Scummo enjoys the game of mates

By Houses and Holes in Australian Politics

November 28, 2019 | 9 comments

Via Crikey:

Angus Taylor

This is the sequence of events. Angus Taylor, federal cabinet minister, used a doctored document to publicly accuse Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore of being a hypocrite on climate change because her councillors spent, allegedly, $15 million on travel in a year (the real figure was about $6000). The document was a forgery, but Taylor insisted his office had downloaded it from the council’s website. That’s been shown to be wrong.

As far as Taylor is concerned, that’s it. He has denied any impropriety by him or his office, but not explained where the fake document came from. FOI requests for correspondence relating to the train of events have been refused and he hasn’t answered questions in parliament about it. The mystery persists.

Yesterday, it came out that the Labor Party had written to the NSW Police and that the police have launched an investigation. The nature of that has not been revealed; presumably they’re looking at some form of potential forgery or fraud offence.

When asked about this development in question time, Scott Morrison said it was news to him. He said he would speak directly to the NSW Police and find out. He came back later in the day to announce this:

I have since spoken with the NSW Police Commissioner about the investigation and the nature and substance of their inquiries which he advised me were based only on the allegations referred by the shadow attorney-general. Based on the information provided to me by the commissioner, I consider there is no action required by me.

The action that Labor was demanding was that Morrison stand his minister down while he is under an active police investigation, in compliance with the ministerial guidelines. These are not binding, but it is conventional that a minister stands aside from their office when their conduct is under a serious cloud. Most recently, the Liberal minister Arthur Sinodinos stood aside voluntarily during an ICAC investigation into him (which ultimately exonerated him).

The conventions of ministerial responsibility have become progressively honoured in the breach in recent years, so it’s no real surprise that neither Taylor nor Morrison proposes to take this matter seriously or pay the public the respect of providing an actual explanation of what happened.

However, there’s something even weirder here: the prime minister’s open acknowledgement that his first instinct was to call up the police chief for a personal chat about the current investigation of potential criminal conduct by one of his cabinet ministers.

If that sounds a bit off to you, that’s because it is. Whatever the status of the investigation may be, and whatever its prospects of leading anywhere are, it is in the hands of an agency of the executive government of the state of NSW. It is axiomatic that the police are required and expected to function with independence, unaffected by political influence.

David Crowe chimes in at Domain:

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull raised the political heat by declaring he would not have made the phone call because the matter had to be “entirely free of political influence” and seen to be so.

Barrister Geoffrey Watson said Mr Morrison should not have made the call because it looked like he had sought a “favour” from the police chief.

“There’s nothing illegal about contacting the police but on the other hand, once you put it into perspective, it should never have happened,” said Mr Watson, a director of the Centre for Public Integrity and a former counsel assisting at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.

“What the Prime Minister should not have done is used his position in executive government to contact an external bureaucrat because it just looks like he’s applying pressure.

“It’s just an inappropriate move rather than an illegal move.”

The Australian tries to hose it off:

NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller has dismissed Labor ­attacks on Scott Morrison’s phone call to him over the investigation into Energy Minister Angus Taylor, but the Prime Minister is now under fire after being forced to clarify an incorrect statement to parliament.

As Mr Fuller promised an “open and transparent” NSW Police investigation into Mr Taylor that could be over as early as next week, Labor seized on the Prime Minister’s Tuesday phone call to him to question Mr Morrison’s judgment.

Mr Fuller said Mr Morrison had “received no more or less ­information” than was publicly available in a NSW police media release confirming an investigation into Mr Taylor.

It’s more press gallery hand wringing than a vote turner. But it does again show that Scummo’s instincts are to rule by executive fiat than committee. Very much in the “strong man” politics of the day. The Guardian digs up an indignant judge:

Scott Morrison is under fire for making a phone call to the NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller to discuss an active investigation into Angus Taylor.

Former anti-corruption commissioner and senior judge David Ipp says Scott Morrison’s phone call to the New South Wales police chief appears to be an inappropriate attempt to use his position to make a political decision.

Morrison came under fire on Wednesday for calling NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller to discuss an active investigation into one of his cabinet ministers, Angus Taylor.

NSW police set up strike force Garrad to investigate whether Taylor’s office came to rely on a falsified document to attack Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore for her travel-related carbon emissions.

Morrison called Fuller before announcing to parliament that he was standing by Taylor on Tuesday. His predecessor Malcolm Turnbull said he would never have made the call, because the inquiry needs to be seen as independent and free of political influence.

Ipp, who served on the NSW court of appeal and as an Independent Commission Against Corruption commissioner, said the call was clearly not appropriate. He said it appears to have been made to aid Morrison’s party-political decision-making, rather than the interest of the state.

“An ordinary citizen would not be able to get that information from the police … so what is it about the prime minister that entitles him to that information?” Ipp told Guardian Australia.

“You can’t see that it’s information that relates to matters of state interest. It can only relate to matters of party interest. If it relates to matters of party interest then he’s using his influence as prime minister to try to obtain the information so that he can make the politically correct decision – that is, whether to keep Taylor or to fire him.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate. It’s not appropriate.”

Isn’t it just the game of mates, at the ABC:

Angus Taylor speaks at the despatch box with Scott Morrison listening in

Crossbench senator Rex Patrick said the friendship between the Prime Minister and Commissioner meant the pair needed to be very careful in their dealings with each other.

Mr Morrison and Commissioner Fuller have both publicly commented on their friendship before.

Senator Patrick said it was “even more inappropriate” that Mr Morrison had called the Commissioner because of their friendship.

“Because they know each other, they have to be very, very careful,” he told Sky News.

“It creates all sorts of perceptions, and as we know in politics, it’s not only about being clean, it’s about being seen to be clean.”

I doubt “quiet Australians” give two hoots. They probably even like a bit game of mates stuck in the face of “inner city lunatics”.

The main danger for Generalissimo Scummo is that he is seen as aloof and arrogant.

Something that must be creeping on up voters as he refuses to do anything about the dire state of the economy, climate change and the CCP silent invasion.

Houses And Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/11/generalissimo-scummo-enjoys-the-game-of-mates/

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6 benefits of buying and investing in Australian homes

… With Media like this across the Globe selling and telling foreigners how they can buy Australian DOMESTIC Housing …

LOOKS like this is deliberately heating up our housing market … Frightening!

By promoting Foreign Investor benefits of …

-Australia’s negative gearing

-the amount to be deducted for depreciation and expenses

-pay fewer taxes

increased First Home Owner grants to $14,000 and $21,000 for established and new Australian homes respectively

OF course JUWAI has been selling our Australian Real Estate across Asia particularly in China for a long time …

ISN’T this a form of sanctioned ‘Foreign Interference’ in Australia’s domestic housing market? Enabling the CCP Silent Invasion?

AND apart from it being a setup by ‘The Game of Mates’ #

6 benefits of buying and investing in Australian homes

REAL ESTATE | 25 Nov | AZ BIG MEDIA

About AZ Big Media: A company based in Arizona in the United States

There’s no doubt the housing market in Australia today is booming. The conditions in Sydney and Melbourne have continued to be solid with an upward trajectory in prices.

In other cities, like Brisbane, the conditions have firmed. There’s also evidence that housing turnover is starting to rise.

Do these conditions signify that it’s a good time to buy in Australia?

Well, there are a lot of advantages to looking into Australian homes. Although that’s a strong factor, you’ll find other good reasons for buying a property in the country.

Keep on reading to find six solid reasons to invest in the housing market in Australia.

1. Tax Advantage

This is some sort of guarantee for homeowners that they won’t lose as much money on an investment. Australia has a tax break referred to as negative gearing. *

The term means that your expenses and interest payments are greater than the return. This means that even if the house’s price appreciates every year and you have positive cash flow, it may still be losing money.

The negative gearing loss includes the computation of a lot of factors. This includes your property income, property expenses, and depreciation.

You’ll have to figure out the amount you can deduct for depreciation, but you can hire an accountant for that. The expenses include capital items, revenue deductions, building allowances, and more.

If you see a loss, you can get a tax break on all your income. It works by offsetting the net rental loss against your other income.

The result is that, for tax purposes, you have less income. Meaning, you pay fewer taxes at the end of the financial year.

This tax advantage is one of the reasons why buying rental properties becomes appealing to investors.

2. Stability

Did you know that when the U.S. real estate market crashed in 2008, Australia managed to stay afloat? Even if the other countries, like Spain and Ireland, suffered from the bust, the government of Australia was able to stop house prices from falling.

One of the bold decisions they made was to provide a higher amount of grants to first-time home buyers. From $7,000, they increased the grants to $14,000 and $21,000 for established and new Australian homes, respectively.

Many opposed the massive increase. Still, it’s one of the biggest factors why home prices in Australia remained on the upward course. All the while, U.S. home prices went on a decline.

That doesn’t mean the Australian housing market is without fault. But if another housing crisis is one of your biggest concerns, you might be able to rest your fears if you buy property in the country.

3. Strong Real Estate Market

If you’re buying a property for investment, this is a good time to do it. The real estate market is booming once again after a short downturn.

It’s experiencing a sharp uptrend today; the last time Australia has had a high was in 2017.

A huge number of Australians are intending to buy a property today.

The cities that experienced the strongest growth are Melbourne and Sydney.

4. Amazing Views From Australian Homes

It’s no secret that Australia has some of the best views in the world. If you want easy access to such, then moving into the country is a wise move.

The different regions offer different types of views, so you’ll have to take that into account when choosing where to buy a property. Buying a house in Sydney, for example, will allow you to see the Sydney Opera House from various places. You can view it from the Harbour Bridge, the waters, the air, and more.

Buying a property from Villa World in Gold Coast, on the other hand, will give you easy access to some of the most spectacular views in the country. You can chill on the beach, hang out with whales, dine with views, and so on.

The other parts of Australia are easily accessible once you’ve established a home in one part. You can head to New South Wales for the weekend, for instance, or Victoria.

5. Accessible for Foreigners

Australia has strong policies about foreigners purchasing properties in the country. The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is the one that regulates investments by foreigners, whether in property or business.

Of course, you’ll have to go in through some hoops to become eligible to purchase. There are certain rules to follow, too.

For instance, you can’t buy an established home if you’re not planning to live in it full time. You can, however, buy a new-build property if you plan to only live there at times. You can also buy new ones for investment.

You need a FIRB approval for both these options, but there’s one way that doesn’t need approval. Non-residents can buy off a new plan or apartments directly from the developer. #

#THE GAME OF MATES

6. Living Standard

Australia has good performance in many aspects of human well-being. It measures great on income, education, environment, health, life satisfaction, and more. Overall, it’s a good place to look into if you want to move somewhere with a guarantee of a good life.

CAAN: Measures well for the Harbourside Huxters and foreign buyers/PR Visa Holders but for the middle class and poor incumbents has led to a decline in income and living standards!

Public transport in the major cities of Australia has a high standard. You can go anywhere using buses, trains, trams, and taxis.

CAAN: The MTR Hong Kong owned Metro regularly breaks down as does the new light rail … the heavy rail network is overladen by Visa holder patronage

If you plan to explore the other regions, flying is a good option because of the low prices of domestic flights. Buses and interstate trains are also available as even cheaper options. Trains have the added benefit of beautiful views.

Australia also has much warmer weather, so that’s a plus if you don’t like the harsh winters.

Choose Your Australian Home

Aside from reviewing the specifics of buying Australian homes as a non-resident, you also have to account for the usual considerations when buying a house.

Image result for bed of roses

SOURCE: https://azbigmedia.com/real-estate/6-benefits-of-buying-and-investing-in-australian-homes/

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THE Chinese Academics from Labs linked to Military who studied in Australia!

NICE WORK!

WHAT do we call this?

IS it gross stupidity on our part to have allowed this situation to occur in the first place?

IS this sufficient proof to confirm we have been …


-bought
-taken for a ride
been let down by our universities and by our governments

HAS this the potential to come back and bite us?

You reckon?

Should this stop?

Do you think?

The Chinese academics from labs linked to military who studied in Australia

ABC Illawarra By Selby Stewart

Updated 27 NOVEMBER 2019

University of Wollongong

PHOTO: Research papers obtained by ABC show links between Chinese professors at UOW and “high-risk schools”. (ABC News: Jennifer Courtney)

Two scholars at a NSW university have been linked to Chinese research centres that have reportedly carried out cyber attacks and espionage for the nation’s military.

Key points:

  • Two visiting professors at the University of Wollongong may have ties to “high-risk” Chinese schools
  • The University of Wollongong said it is concerned about the allegations
  • The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said the professors’ links should be probed

One of the scholars attended the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) cybersecurity centre several years ago while visiting from a Chinese laboratory allegedly implicated in executing cyber attacks against foreign countries.

The other scholar, who is working at the university, is visiting from a Chinese physics academy considered “very high-risk” by security experts due to its ties to the country’s nuclear weapons program.

A third academic, a professor who was accused by US media outlets of being a military liaison, co-authored a recent research paper on encrypted coding with the UOW.

*The revelations come 24 hours after the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) released a report warning Australian universities were unwittingly creating security risks by collaborating with Chinese schools.*

ASPI is an independent, not-for-profit think tank specialising in defence, national security and cyber issues.

It identified several “high-risk” universities on mainland China that had military ties and had also sent academics to Australia.

8The ABC found research papers showing UOW had collaborated with two Chinese professors whose online resumes revealed they worked at these “high-risk” schools.

*ASPI’s cyber policy researcher Alex Joske said both professors’ links to the centres should be probed.

“These centres are considered high-risk because of multiple claims they are linked to cyber espionage,” Mr Joske said.

“These researchers were looking at methods of getting access to secured systems or secured information.

*“Australia strictly controls cryptographic technology and there is a potential for people to have taken that technology back to China.”

Desks are ready to be filled for exam time.

PHOTO: One of the professors worked at a Chinese laboratory allegedly linked to foreign cyber-attacks. (ABC Open contributor Andrew Leontarou)

A UOW spokesman said the university was concerned about the allegations.

*The spokesman said two of the professors no longer worked with the university and that it was the Federal Government’s role to screen foreign visitors.

Some of the research collaborations referred to by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and in subsequent media reporting, pre-date the introduction of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012,” he said.

International PhD students and visiting academics are required to obtain a visa before undertaking research at the University of Wollongong.

“This involves providing the Australian Government with extensive personal information for assessment.”

Alleged military connections

The resume and research papers show one professor studied and worked at China’s prestigious Wuhan University in the Laboratory of Aerospace Information Security and Trusted Computing since the 1990s.

Her resume reveals she worked with a professor there, who has been accused by US media outlets of being a liaison between the laboratory and the Chinese military.

US and Taiwanese media outlets have previously alleged the centre, 800 kilometres west of Shanghai, is funded by China’s military and linked to cyber attacks on Taiwan.

The professor was previously hosted by UOW at its Cybersecurity and Cryptography centre and undertook a collaborative research project.

Several years later, another professor from the same Chinese lab wrote a research paper on infiltrating security systems alongside a UOW academic.

That professor has been identified by US media outlets as having close ties to China’s military.

It is understood the professors are still working at Wuhan University.

But papers show the academic being hosted by the University of Wollongong has also worked for a research centre that may have ties to China’s military apparatus.

He is visiting from the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) — the nation’s sole nuclear weapons development facility.

ASPI said that facility had been involved in two alleged espionage cases in the US during the 1980s and 90s.

ASPI has classified the CAEP as “very high-risk” and warned Australian universities to be wary of visiting academics.

University of Wollongong

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-27/university-of-wollongong-professors-linked-to-high-risk-schools/11741450?pfmredir=sm

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The think tanks shaping Australia: The Institute of Public Affairs

The think tanks shaping Australia: The Institute of Public Affairs

Think Tanks special report: Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting is one of the donors behind the IPA.

Christiane Barro

Christiane Barro@BarroChristiane

COMMENT

Daniel Wild, director of research at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), says the Abbott government’s 2014 decision to end plans for a price on carbon was one of the think tank’s greatest achievements in shaping Australian public policy.

To get to know some of the behind-the-scenes advisers to Australia’s  policymakers, The New Daily asked five different think tanks for the top three changes they helped steer, which have yielded tangible benefits to the public.

A non-profit organisation established in 1943 by a group of prominent Melbourne businessmen, led by supermarket founder GJ Coles, the IPA has in recent years been routinely accused of pushing climate-change denialism.

The carbon-pricing scheme, originally introduced in 2011 by then-prime minister Julia Gillard, aimed to mitigate global warming by taxing energy sources that produced carbon dioxide.

Mr Wild told The New Daily that the Abbott government’s decision to abolish the carbon scheme was one of the IPA’s three greatest policy achievements and a “victory for mainstream Australians over the political class”.

“IPA research focused on demonstrating how the carbon tax imposed significant and irreparable economic and social damage without delivering a discernible environmental benefit,” he said.

Also making Mr Wild’s list of the top three policy changes the IPA helped steer, was the defeat of the Labor government’s proposal in 1947 to nationalise Australia’s private banks.

He said the IPA provided “substantial research” that outlined how then-PM Ben Chifley’s plan to gain full control over the country’s economy after World War II would have resulted in “significant and irreparable damage” to the economy and “Australian way of life”.

“It was a major victory for free enterprise over socialism and ensured that the reach of socialist ideology in Australia would be ring-fenced,” Mr Wild said.

Lastly, Mr Wild said the IPA was central in advocating for the deregulation of the financial sector during the Hawke-Keating era.

He said the process of financial deregulation in Australia led to “sustained economic growth” and “expanded economic opportunity for Australian workers and families”.

Who funds the IPA?

The IPA has garnered almost 200 new financial members since it was revealed in July last year that Gina Rinehart’s mining and agriculture empire, Hancock Prospecting, made two separate donations, totalling a whopping $4.5 million.

gina rinehart
Australia’s wealthiest person Gina Rinehart is a major funder of the IPA. Photo: Getty

The IPA registered a charity in 2007 called the IPA Research Trust. It contains close to $650,000 from donations and bequests.

In a statement to TND, IPA spokesperson Evan Mulholland confirmed a strong membership base of almost 5000 people.

The IPA has remained tight-lipped on funding sources, citing privacy concerns, but Mr Mulholland maintains donors “are free to identify themselves if they choose”.

Leaked documents in 2012 revealed a “monthly payment” of $US1667 ($2412) was funnelled to IPA emeritus fellow Bob Carter by the Heartland Institute, a US right-wing think tank notorious for championing climate-change scepticism.

Heartland, which reportedly received funds from (tobacco giant) Philip Morris parent company Altria, and fellow tobacco corporate, Reynolds American, sponsored Mr Carter, who died in 2016.

The money was part of its program to finance “high-profile individuals who regularly and publicly counter the alarmist [anthropogenic global warming] message”.

In 2012, Heartland ran a billboard featuring serial bomber Ted Kaczynski alongside the question: “I still believe in Global Warming. Do You?”. Photo: Heartland Institute

According to the documents, Heartland also funded IPA author Joanne Nova’s trip to Bali in 2007, where the self-described climate sceptic attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and subsequently wrote a piece accusing the UN of exploiting climate science to “increase their own power”.

The B Macfie Family Foundation has funded the work of IPA author Dr Jennifer Marohasy since 2003, according to her author profile page on the IPA website.

Speaking to TND, biologist Dr Marohasy, an adjunct research fellow at Central Queensland University (CQU), strongly defended her long list of writings for the IPA, saying she is an “empiricist” who has only ever reached evidence-based conclusions.

Dr Marohasy has previously accused the Bureau of Meteorology of tinkering with temperature data to corroborate the global warming “theory”. The BoM later issued a statement confirming it “is not altering climate records to exaggerate estimates of global warming”.

Over a decade, IPA author and astrophysicist Dr Willie Soon collected more than $1 million from major US oil and coal companies ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute, Koch Industries and Southern, a Greenpeace investigation revealed in 2011.

In a CNN interview, IPA author Patrick Michaels, when pressed by interviewer Fareed Zakaria, estimated that about 40 per cent of his research was funded by the petroleum industry.

In 2009, ExxonMobil disclosed on its website that it had funded the Science, Health, and Economic Advisory Council of the Annapolis Center (AC), a US think tank of which IPA author Richard Lindzen was a member.

Dr Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told TND that he “received no funding through the AC, and parted with the body because “it was not sufficiently strong in its opposition to climate alarm, which I personally regard as the greatest abuse of science in history”.

Since 2009, the MIT has provided him $20,000 a year. He said he was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation during most of his career.

“These sources ended in the 1990s but a small grant from the Department of Energy continued until 2009 … I have had several of those, but they were independently funded by their home country, the Republic of Korea,” Dr Lindzen said.

“There is no question that funding does have an influence.”

In 2009, IPA author and the UK’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, formed the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a UK-based climate sceptic think tank.

The group was exposed in 2014 as having accepted donations from two sources linked to the Institute of Economic Affairs, a free-market think tank, which has previously admitted to collecting money from fossil fuel companies and has also argued against climate-change mitigation.

GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser told TND that it rejects “gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company”.

IPA author Stewart Franks reportedly received $85,000 in 2006-07 from electricity provider Macquarie Generation, which has been one of the largest carbon dioxide emitters in Australia.

When questioned by a parliamentary committee, Mr Franks claimed the money went to a “student” and not himself.

This is part two of a five-part series on Australia’s most influential think tanks. Tomorrow, we look at the Lowy Institute

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/10/institute-of-public-affairs/

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Berejiklian to overhaul planning laws with push for 30-minute cities

WHAT this boils down to … what we suggest it really means …

Gladys said at a recent gathering of acolytes that she will proceed with projects contrary to planning rules because …


-she is up for any criticism
-only half of projects in NSW would have proceeded ‘if they had stuck to the rules’
-this justifies the rules being broken in the future

So …


-are we being softened up for a wholesale assault on the fabric of the built environment?

AND

-the setting aside of all the rules protecting the natural environment to this becoming the ‘new norm’?

Berejiklian to overhaul planning laws with push for 30-minute cities

Alexandra Smith
By Alexandra Smith

November 27, 2019

View all comments

Premier Gladys Berejiklian will prioritise an overhaul of planning laws in 2020 with a push to create 30-minute cities to ease congestion on public transport, roads and in Sydney’s CBD.

In a speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) on Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian will outline a vision for the state’s planning system, which will be her focus next year.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian's focus in 2020 will be overhauling the state's planning laws.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s focus in 2020 will be overhauling the state’s planning laws.CREDIT:AAP

Her State of the State address will outline what the government will change, including reducing assessment timeframes and making e-planning mandatory for metro councils.

The government will also “supercharge” new hubs to ensure people can live close to their work as well as fix the uncertainty of developer contributions.

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Brad leaves home at 6.30am to avoid the crush. Is it early enough?

Ms Berejiklian said the major reforms would create jobs and boost the economy.

“The current system does not give investors certaintysome planning proposals are taking years to determine and there are too many layers of bureaucracy which is unacceptable,” she said.

“Under the new reforms, we will deliver the simplest and most effective planning system in Australia that creates thousands of jobs and improves the way people live and work, right across the state.”

A Transport for NSW website page says its vision for the greater Sydney area is one in which people could reach their nearest metropolitan and strategic centres within 30 minutes on public transport, seven days a week.

Ms Berejiklian said she wanted NSW to be a state where people did not spend hours commuting.

*“The NSW economy is the strongest in the nation but we want to ensure we remain the investment capital of Australia. Planning reform is key to this,” Ms Berejiklian said.*

“The government wants to create communities that offer residents fulfilling work, great social amenities and a choice of public spaces.”

Did the Minister mislead Parliament?

Play video2:12West Metro stations slated for 2030

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and transport minister Andrew Constance announce seven new stations to be built for Sydney’s West Metro.

Ms Berejiklian said 300,000 people living in Greater Western Sydney leave the region each day to go to work, commuting long distances.

There is also a significant proportion of Central Coast residents who commute daily, she said.

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian's focus in 2020 will be overhauling the state's planning laws.
EDITORIAL
PLANNING

Too soon for another shake-up of NSW planning rules

Thirty thousand Central Coast residents, or 30 per cent of its working population, commute to Sydney each day, spending as much as five hours a day in the car,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This places unnecessary stress on commuters, families, roads, public transport and the Sydney CBD.”

She said the government would create a network of new hubs, “providing people work opportunities they’ve never had before, right on their doorstop, and enabling communities to develop their own unique character”.

“Our hub strategy will provide regions with the resources and infrastructure needed for NSW to compete nationally and globally, while enriching the lifestyle of local residents,” Ms Berejiklian said.

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Do you live in one of Sydney's '30-minute neighbourhoods'?
INFRASTRUCTURE

Do you live in one of Sydney’s ’30-minute neighbourhoods’?

“At the heart of this hub strategy will be high quality jobs near where people live. This strategy is the next step in the government achieving its vision for 30-minute cities.”

Planning Minister Rob Stokes said a series of reforms would be introduced to the planning system over the coming months, including fast-tracking projects in high growth areas.

“This is about demystifying and restoring confidence in the planning system so we can get on with the job of delivering fantastic new places right across NSW,” Mr Stokes said.

“We have already made significant changes to the planning system over the past few years and these changes will keep driving our state forward.”

Alexandra Smith

Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.

West Metro stations slated for 2030

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/berejiklian-to-overhaul-planning-laws-with-push-for-30-minute-cities-20191126-p53ecw.html#comments

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Cut RED TAPE and Keep investment in The Black

THIS ARTICLE was again reprinted reissued in the Daily Telegraph earlier this week!

DID The Liargraf have this piece by Daniel Wild ‘Cut Red Tape, Get in Black’ it would seem as another justification for sweeping aside more of the ‘Rules’ aka doing the right thing … maintaining standards etc, etc

-with faulty towers cracking 85% of ‘new homes’ defective on completion …

-the importation of some 1.6 Million Visa Workers … not trained in our TAFE … working at slave rates with long hours

-their goal being to get a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’ … the consequence being high Youth Unemployment and Underemployment in Australia

ARE we being set up to get used to ‘a new norm’ where just about anything goes?

You betcha!

NOTE CAAN INSERTS FOR FACTS throughout this article!

Related Article: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/10/institute-of-public-affairs/

Cut red tape and keep investment in the black

DANIEL WILD

Scott Morrison’s vision to cut red tape will allow more Australians to reach their potential and for the Australian economy to flourish.

🤣

In an address to the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Western Australia yesterday, the Prime Minister highlighted the need to “bust regulatory congestion” to remove “obstacles to business investment”.

CAAN: DEREGULATION … Loss of Standards and protections! As with the property sector …

His announcement that Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Ben Morton will lead a review of red tape is an excellent first step. This move, along with Josh Frydenberg’s commitment to driving productivity growth, is the beginning of an ambitious third-term agenda for the Coalition.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is focusing on productivity growth. Picture: AAP

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is focusing on productivity growth. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

CAAN: EXTRACT:

ALBANESE will note that annual productivity growth averaged 2.2% when Tony Abbott was elected in 2013, and the rate of growth has now halved, declining over the past two quarters, and with “productivity missing in action, that old anchor chain of class and destiny threatens to make a comeback”.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/22/anthony-albanese-calls-for-end-to-productivity-recession-amid-labor-reboot

It is right for the government to focus on regulatory reform and cutting red tape.

Red tape is the biggest barrier to economic opportunity and prosperity in Australia.

Research by the Institute of Public Affairs estimates red tape reduces economic output by $176 billion a year, the equivalent to 10 per cent of gross domestic product. This makes red tape Australia’s biggest industry.

The lesson from the US under President Donald Trump is that cutting red tape and lowering taxes lead to an economic boom, and not just in terms of profits to businesses.

Since Trump came to office in January 2017, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.6 per cent; the lowest rate since 1967; ­unemployment for minorities reached its lowest levels ever recorded; the unemployment rate for women has fallen to 3.1 per cent, which is the lowest since 1953; 422,000 jobs have been added in the manufacturing sector; and private sector business invest­ment has increased from 17 per cent to 18.1 per cent of GDP.

This has led to the US labour market gradually tightening, which has placed upward pressure on wages and put workers in a stronger bargaining position.

The centrepiece of the reduction of red tape in the US has been a one-in-two-out approach, where two regulations are eliminated for every one introduced. Last year, 12 regulations were repealed for each new regulation introduced, resulting in a $US23bn reduction to regulatory costs.

The result is that in Trump’s first full year as president in 2017, total pages of legislation passed dropped by 36 per cent.

This is the largest reduction since records began in 1936.

In Australia, red tape affects every sector of the economy, from multi-billion-dollar projects in the resources sector to small shops on the local high street. The Roy Hill iron ore mine in the Pilbara in Western Australia, for example, required 4967 licences, permits and conditions for the pre-construction phase alone; and a contravention order was recently issued by a local council in NSW to a small food shop whose bottle of hand soap in the bathroom was less than 50 per cent full.

These examples demonstrate why business investment in Australia is just 11.8 per cent of GDP, which is lower than during the business-hostile Whitlam years. Low rates of business investment truncate the nation’s capital stock, which reduces productivity growth, and holds down real wages growth in the private sector.

CAAN: To the contrary … VIEW: ‘One Million Aussies Forgotten in Unemployment Statistics’. Therefore Unemployment is 19.7% not 5.2% in Australia!

“This says to me that one in five potential workers in Australia, or about 20 per cent, are people who want to work, want to work more, aren’t working at all, or working less than they want to,” Dr Stanford said.

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/10/20/one-million-aussies-forgotten-in-unemployment-statistics/

As well as dragging down productivity and wages, red tape is pushing up the cost of living.

IPA research last year found that consumer prices in sectors with heavy government intervention have risen far faster than sectors with minimal intervention.

Across 20 years from 1997 to 2017, the cost of housing increased by 330 per cent, childcare by 310 per cent and electricity by 215 per cent.

CAAN: The cost of HOUSING rose through the increased competition of foreign buyers seeking ‘Permanent Residency’ and able to launder black money in our Real Estate locking out Australian First Home Buyers!

-in the late 1990s the Howard Government made changes to our Immigration Policy for the Chinese Middle Class to invest in our education and real estate to gain “flexible citizenship”

-that led the housing boom of the early 2000s and a hike in housing prices

-the 100% sell-off of ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers esp. in China (FIRB
Ruling introduced in 2009
was this at the behest of the Developer Lobby? and May 2017 Budget Reg.)

2012/13 Planning Law changes in NSW for higher density to compliment the high immigration and Visa manipulation of the Abbot Government in 2013 to date

Real Estate Gatekeepers made exempt from the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation (second tranche) in October 2018

.AML second tranche shelved for more than 12 years prior

POWER PRICES escalated with the sell-off of Our Public Assets!

At September 2018: The foreign takeover of Australian gas and electricity

There are three main electricity distributors in NSW: Essential Energy, Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid. The NSW Government wants to sell half of Ausgrid to fund infrastructure projects.

Last year, the NSW Government awarded a 99-year lease of electricity transmitter TransGrid to a consortium comprising Canadian, Middle Eastern and local investors. The deal was worth $10.258 billion.

View: https://tottnews.com/2018/09/25/foreign-takeover-of-australian-gas-and-electricity/

Childcare has largely not been subsidised by government as in other countries so it is expensive for parents however Childcare Workers continue to be underpaid! Question that Childcare has increased by 310%?

But cutting red tape is not just an economic issue. It is a profound moral issue: red tape is disempowering. It prevents Australians from starting their own business, winning a pay rise and following their dreams.

CAAN: The Morrison Government currently is pushing its Union Busting Bill which will make it harder for workers to win pay rises and protect their jobs.

View: https://standupforworkers.com/

Every hour spent on complying with red tape is an hour less dedicated to business expansion, in the community or helping the kids with their homework.

It is inherently undignified for an entrepreneur, a farmer, a prospector or a small-business owner to seek the permission of bureaucrats to start or expand a business or take on a new project that will employ more people and create greater opportunities. The disposition of a risk-averse bureaucracy will always clash with the entrepreneurial flair of hardworking Australians who are willing to take a risk, often putting their family home on the line, for the betterment of our nation. What have ­bureaucrats and regulators ever risked for Australia?

The exciting policy agenda of the Morrison government to cut red tape, along with reforming industrial relations and cutting income taxes, will help reverse the decline of small business, boost investment and allow the Australian middle class to prosper.

Daniel Wild is director of research with the Institute of Public Affairs.

CAAN: The Middle Class in Australia is disappearing …

Tax the rich more to help the middle class, says OECD

Middle-income households have experienced dismal income growth over the past three decades, says a new OECD report

View:  https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/04/13/10212/

Photo: TND: Think Tanks special report: Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting is one of the donors behind the IPA.

SOURCE: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/cut-red-tape-and-keep-investment-in-the-black/news-story/76ed0213bff87d54bccf0b6d2e468ebd

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BATHURST LOSES BID FOR WATER ALLOCATION TO SYDNEY!

Bathurst’s Chifley Dam is down to 39 per cent of its capacity – the lowest level since the wall was raised in 2003 – and slipping by a further 1 per cent every week

-if there is no rain … raising a dam wall makes no difference

BATHURST losing its water to Sydney’s high population Housing Ponzi Scheme!

Tensions rise as Bathurst loses bid for water allocation to Sydney

Harriet Alexander
By Harriet Alexander

November 27, 2019

A government decision to divert the water allocation from a mothballed power station to the Sydney catchment instead of nearby Bathurst has inflamed tensions in the thirsty town, where the mayor has been blamed for not lobbying hard enough for water security and irrigators accused of taking more than their share.

Bathurst’s Chifley Dam is down to 39 per cent of its capacity – the lowest level since the wall was raised in 2003 – and slipping by a further 1 per cent every week.

Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia’s annual water allocation for Oberon Dam, which supplied Wallerawang Power Station until it closed in 2014, and has since been used by Sydney Water.

Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia's annual water allocation for Oberon Dam.
Bathurst Regional Council wanted to buy Energy Australia’s annual water allocation for Oberon Dam.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

After the state government knocked back this proposal last month, the town moved to extreme water restrictions and local irrigators agreed to take just 20 per cent of their water allocation.

WaterNSW systems operations manager Adrian Langdon said Oberon Dam supplied Lithgow, Oberon, storages for the Blue Mountains and Energy Australia, which still operates Mt Piper Power Station.

If three gigalitres of water were to be diverted to Bathurst as its council proposed, there would be additional transmission losses of up to 1.5 gigalitres and the dam would be left with just eight gigalitres, he said

“Under a worst-case scenario of zero inflows, Oberon Dam holds enough water in storage to provide supply until April 2021. The loss of three gigalitres would change that date to November 2020.”

But Councillor Jess Jennings last week attempted to have a water emergency declared for the region to send a signal to the government that this decision should be overturned. If water from Oberon Dam were to be secured, progression to level five water restrictions would be avoided and irrigators would have kept 40 per cent of their allocation, he said.

Raised dust in the central west town of Bathurst on Tuesday.
Raised dust in the central west town of Bathurst on Tuesday.CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

“We’ve had absolutely zero political leadership from our mayor to lobby on behalf of our irrigators,” Dr Jennings said. “Local government matters for the first time in decades because if we don’t get our message right, we will miss out on fundamental measures like water security.”

Mayor Bobby Bourke said council had secured $15 million from the government since he became mayor, but he suspected the irrigators were pumping more water than their allocation allowed.

“I just hope it rains so the irrigators can get a bit more, but it’s not metered so they’re probably doing what they want to do,” Mr Bourke said. “If I had crops in there I’d be trying to get away with it, I suppose. What can you do?”

Council summoned local farmers last week and reminded them of the fines that could be incurred for drawing more than their allocation. Irrigator Jeff McSpedden, who attended the meeting, said they had been “read the riot act”.

“That struck the fear of God into people,” Mr McSpedden said. “There might be a few people pinching a bit, but it might be that they’re taking it now and they’re not going to take it later.”

Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home.
Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home. CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Town water restrictions have proved a challenge for home gardeners in Bathurst, with watering reduced to two half-hour periods per week.

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Peter Varman, a former horticulturalist and current member of the local gardening club, is running workshops on water efficiency with methods such as mulching, choosing drought resistant plants and the use of seaweed extract.

His innovations include cutting small holes into plastic containers, filling them with grey water and placing them next to individual plants to ensure every drop goes through to the roots and not deflected off the leaves.

“None of us are bothering with grass because we’re not allowed to water lawn anyway, but it’s for the plants we want to save,” Mr Varman said. “You only have to look around the streets to see some of the trees are starting to die because there’s just no water. People are very much affected by this.”

Bathurst resident Peter Varman in his garden at home.

Harriet Alexander

Harriet Alexander is a reporter for the Herald.

SOURCE: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/tensions-rise-as-bathurst-loses-bid-for-water-allocation-to-sydney-20191126-p53e6c.html

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CHEN Suspected of Bid to install Spy in Parliament has Business linked to CHINESE Military

Mr Chen is the chief executive of Prospect Time International Investment, which promotes China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative.

IS this an alternate approach to get the One Belt and One Road Initiative off the ground in Australia … ?

WHAT is the government doing to protect Australia and its People from this totalitarian regime?

WHY hasn’t Chen’s entry to Australia been blocked?

MEANWHILE the CCP can fly in and buy what they like!

HOW can we have a mutually beneficial trade relationship with China with the CCP malign presence in the World?

ISN’t it HIGH TIME to seek World-wide trade export markets … ?

Man suspected of bid to install spy in Parliament has business linked to Chinese military

By Paul Sakkal and Nick McKenzie

Updated November 28, 2019

View all comments

*The man suspected of trying to plant a Chinese operative in the Australian Parliament is involved in business with one of the Chinese military’s main weapons and vehicles manufacturers, and wanted to expand his business into Australia.

The special vehicle company run by sometime Australian resident Brian Chen produces bullet-proof transport trucks, public security guard cars and other special vehicles.

*One of his businesses is in partnership with another company that is an affiliate of Norinco, the $45 billion military outfit that produces a large proportion of China’s military products, ranging from weapons to tanks.

Alleged Chinese intelligence operative Brian Chen.
Alleged Chinese intelligence operative Brian Chen.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have confirmed from multiple Western security sources that Mr Chen is a suspected senior Chinese intelligence operative, a claim Mr Chen confirmed was put to him by Australian officials at Melbourne Airport in March, but which he vehemently denies.

The Australian Federal Police and other agencies are deeply interested in Mr Chen’s activities in Australia and abroad, well-placed sources said.

The sources, speaking on condition of confidentiality, said the investigation had moved on from the claims made by Melbourne man Bo “Nick” Zhao that Mr Chen had offered him $1 million to run for the Australian Parliament. Authorities were now assessing Mr Chen’s business activities in Melbourne and across Asia and Europe.

Mr Chen, an occasional Melbourne resident, denied knowing Mr Zhao and also denied any association with the Chinese military. However, he admitted to owning a company that manufactured special vehicles.

Mr Chen said he was in the process of buying a factory in Melbourne’s northern suburbs to begin producing vehicles before he left Australia in March.

Play Video

Play video4:06ASIO investigates suspected spy ring, sources say

Melbourne car dealer Nick Zhao was found dead in a Melbourne hotel, before his death he claimed a Chinese spy ring approached him and offered him money to run for parliament.

“I wanted to start a factory to build modified cars here, because that’s what I’ve always been doing. But the negotiation of venue and factory hasn’t been settled,” Chen said.

“The factory that we were looking at was near the airport, the industrial area, but it was too expensive, so we didn’t make the final decision.”

*Mr Chen said the Australian officials questioned him about why his company’s website featured photographs of military vehicles, which prompted him to remove the photographs.

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*Mr Chen is the chief executive of Prospect Time International Investment, which promotes China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure initiative.*

*Prospect Time’s subsidiary, Special Vehicles and Equipment Company, is a 50 per cent shareholder in a company whose name can be roughly translated as Beijing Northern Li Mao Long Defence and Security Technology Company. That company produces bullet-proof transport trucks, public security guard cars and other special vehicles that are certified by China’s Ministry of Public Security – the main security arm of the Chinese Communist Party. *

*The other half of that company is owned by Beijing North Vehicle Group Corporation (Norveco), an affiliate of Norinco, China’s major state-owned defence corporation.

Norinco is one of the largest defence corporations in the world, and was one of 10 companies that participated in China’s military parade in October.

Norveco’s civil vehicles were involved in landmark events such as the Beijing Olympics torch relay and Chinese national day events.

Some of Norinco’s major international buyers include the governments of Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran and Venezuela.

Mr Chen’s company Prospect Time has also struck questionable deals with various governments and companies around the world.

In June 2017 Mr Chen’s company said it was “pleased to lead a team of experts to Portugal for a $2.9 billion project to be completed in the next four to five years”. But by 2018 the Portugal project had fallen over, with Portugal’s authorities refusing to answer questions about the deal. The announcement of the project was removed from Prospect Time’s website.

In the past two years Prospect Time has announced a $3.3 billion infrastructure plan in the Philippines, a $220 million hotel complex in the Pacific island of Palau, an oil project in Maldives and an undisclosed project in Thailand, where the company said Mr Chen met former Thailand prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra. There has been no evidence of any of the projects commencing.

Many of the countries where deals were announced have been targeted by the Chinese government in its aggressive push to build its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Alleged Chinese intelligence operative Brian Chen was negotiating for a stake in a biotech startup.
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CHINA’S SPY SECRETS

VIEW:

https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2019/11/27/19522/

Mr Chen said Prospect Time, which was registered in 2004, had “existed for a long time but the business hasn’t started”.

“Now, we are still finding different projects to do,” he said.

On Tuesday The Age and Herald revealed that Mr Chen made a multimillion-dollar offer to take over a Melbourne biotech company, in order to gain office space in Melbourne’s CSIRO building.

Mr Zhao reported the approach to ASIO. In March he was found dead in a motel room in suburban Melbourne. There is no suggestion that the two events are related.

Paul Sakkal

Paul is a reporter for The Age.

Nick McKenzie

Nick McKenzie is an investigative reporter for The Age. He’s won seven Walkley awards and covers politics, business, foreign affairs and defence, human rights issues, the criminal justice system and social affairs.

SOURCE:

https://www.smh.com.au/national/man-suspected-of-bid-to-install-spy-in-parliament-has-business-linked-to-chinese-military-20191127-p53epa.html

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