IT TOOK barely $2,000 credit card reimbursement for Senator Sam ‘Dasher’ Dastyari to turn against his country and his party to advocate a pro-China line.
That’s far too cheap a price to advocate a policy (China claiming swathes of the South China Sea from international waters, Vietnam, Phillipines, Malaysia and Indonesia) that could harm Australian farmers, exporters and importers.
Dasher’s policy switch could allow China to control waters and international shipping rules vital to Australia’s exports to Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, as well as China.
Anyone cognisant with international trade and payment systems knows not only how hard it is sometimes to extract the correct money from many Chinese importers, but also how they escape proper payment through their corrupt court system. The ability to seize cargos within their much broader claimed seaways would further harm Australian exporters.
But Dasher, on $200,000 plus many parliamentary expenses benefits a year, was willing to sell Aussies down the drain to have his credit card debt paid out by a Chinese agent.
Just as former Trade minister Andrew Robb was willing to sign the Port of Darwin over to a Chinese government-owned (and defence related) corporate — and then pop-up on $880,000 a year consultancy with the firm.
No wonder the US government, and especially its defence and trade departments, are going ballistic about these sell-outs by our politicians.
And we don’t need to get into the further sell-outs of foreign take-overs and major government contracts, both not in the interest of sectors such as agriculture and food processing, by politicians who take the donations and consultancies. National Party president, Larry Anthony, does not come to this debate with clean hands given his consultancy has been profitably representing these deals rather more than he has the Australian farmers, processors and regional workers.
Nor does the Premier’s partner nor her successful election campaign advisor.
Despite all the enhanced governance on political donations, the money influence by the rich and foreign to make decisions which benefit a few rather than the many or whole industry sectors has grown exponentially in Australian and Queensland politics.
It is getting out of hand.
It is having negative impacts on several agricultural sectors.
We now have processing oligopolies controlled by companies under serious question, inquiries and in some cases bans in leading countries such as USA, Brazil and Indonesia. All allowed by our cheap-to-rent Australian politicians and senior bureaucrats.
This isn’t an issue of anti-foreigner racism, but a deep concern of damage being done to the value add of a number of key agricultural sectors and the remaining Australian farmers.
(The author was, for a decade until 2009, on the board of a major company which traded globally, including major activities in China).