During the current trade crisis with Communist China, I have been reading a lot about Chinese ownership of various Australian interests.
Aside from wineries (an issue very close to my heart), Chinese Communist interests own Ansell, Swisse, Bellamys, Altinta Energy, and Energy Australia.
Landbridge, a Chinese company closed aligned to the communist regime, has a 99 year lease on the Port of Darwin. This was approved in 2015 by then cabinet minister the Hon. Andrew Robb, much to the chagrin of our friends and allies, the Americans. A year later, Mr Robb, in retiring from politics, accepted a $880,000 per year consultancy with Landbridge immediately upon his departure from Federal Parliament.
He resigned from this consultancy in February 2019, just as laws were being tightened on lobbying and foreign interests.
But in being reminded of this ‘consultancy’ and the circumstances under which it was entered into today, I cannot help but wonder about some of our elected officials and what their motives are. It is a bad look, and casts doubt on the probity of the process which led, a year before the consultancy, to a decision potentially prejudicial to our national security being made.
Our politicians are, compared to the rest of the population, generously paid. They are also given generous provision for their retirement. All we really expect that they should be honest and act in the best interests of the nation. There should be limits on their ability to profit in their retirements from their political careers in ways which could benefit foreign interests.