WA is more than a foreign owned quarry: China deal needs review

Media Release: Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam, Robin Chapple MLC. Wednesday September 21st, 2011

The Barnett Government’s new deal with China is a secretive template for a massive increase in foreign-owned extractive industries at a time when the mining boom is doing structural harm to the rest of the Australian economy, the Australian Greens said today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said a number of provisions in the Memorandum of Understanding set off alarm bells, chiefly the demand for total confidentiality.

“The deal states that all information exchanged must be treated as confidential, whether designated as such or not. It sets secrecy as the default setting. The deal says information cannot be disclosed to a third party. A third party such as the Western Australian public.”

Senator Ludlam said the deal was designed to be “entrenched for at least ten years” and potentially opened Western Australia up to an unprecedented level of exploitation.

“The deal is designed to lock in our foreign-owned quarry economy.

Greens WA MLC Robin Chapple said the deal raised serious questions over control of Western Australian mining operations, resources and infrastructure.

“The deal mentions ‘exchanges of views with respect to laws and regulations’. Will China exercise influence over our regulations to suit the interests of Chinese companies? Will the State Government bend environmental and industrial regulations to suit Chinese companies?

“The M.O.U states the WA Government will support and encourage Chinese companies to participate in the construction of railroad, port and other infrastructure, but does not say who will control that infrastructure when it is completed. These questions need to be answered,” said Mr Chapple.

  • For further comment contact Robin Chapple on 9486 9968 or 0409 379 263


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