Grant Goldman Editorial Monday 9 October 2017

Could NSW State Labor Leader Luke Foley be considering going Federal? [Are NSW state issues are getting boring for him?]

As reported in page two of the Australian newspaper [September 27th] by Primrose Riordan “Labor leader aligns with China on BRI”. NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has fully endorsed Red China’s global infrastructure fund and mimicked language used by Beijing officials in attacking Australia’s media for being driven by a Cold War mentality towards the Communist governed nation.

Mr Foley and prominent NSW Labor MP Ernest Wong [tied to a prominent Chinese political donor] , hosted a media conference at NSW Parliament House last week focussed on echoing China’s criticism of the Australian press. In June, MP Wong accompanied Labor leader Foley to China; where the pair met with government and party officials’ in Beijing, Zhengzhou and Guangzhou.  Mr Foley, at the subsequent news conference attended by Chinese & Australian press, seemingly mischievously and erroneously suggested that some unnamed media reports were suggesting Australians’, “turn our backs on friendship with China.” Mr Foley alleged there is a Cold War mentality on display following a number of newsworthy press reports about Chinese government influence in Australia, appearing earlier this year. Chinese ambassador Cheng Jingye urged Australia to cast off any so called ‘cold war mentality’. “We need to build more trust with less lecturing” he had told business leaders in June. This is typical where one experiences a clash of cultures because Australia insists on being a free and democratic society as is echoed in the Aussie national anthem, “For we are young and free”.  A majority of Australians, until very recently, were descendant from Irish convicts and Scottish settlers until The Irish and the Scott’s throughout their turbulent history are famous for invoking ‘a fair go and having a right to say what you think’ whilst being independent; harbouring a healthy dislike for any authoritarian governments a rebellious convict attitude in-grained in their DNA when it comes opposing unfair play. Chinese authorities find our non-compliant history hard to accept or understand.

Federal Labor has expressed that Australia should look at embracing individual [specific] projects under China’s proposed ‘One Belt One Road’ infrastructure scheme. Mr Foley, wanting to go the Full Monty proclaimed that Australia should follow New Zealand’s [remorseful] approach and sign up [full throttle] to the program.” He appears foolishly to disregards our sovereignty by believing, ‘We are sending a message we are not convinced about this’.  The Australian’s Journalist Brad Norington in an October 2 piece, entitled “Labor’s China project “bizarre” explained how Federal  Labor wants to engage directly with Beijing’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy by signing us up to joint infrastructure projects in Australia’s north has been branded as a bizarre move that ignores national security issues and would deepen Australia’s dependence on China.

Opposition Treasury spokesman Labor’s Chris Bowen has commented that Labor ‘no doubt’ and supported by Senator from Penny Wong to a deepening Australian engagement with Asia and China in particular. Bowen is the man, who  when last in Government [as Finance Minister] allowed overseas investors access to buy 100%  of residential premises ‘off plan’ and consequently has made it ever harder for [struggling Aussie voters] first home buyers.  China experts have told the Australian that Mr Bowen policy was a remarkably naive piece of work, because his enthusiasm failed to account for the consequences of China becoming a partner in ports, rail networks, bridges and roads. Peter Jennings, executive director of Australia Strategic policy Institute said such a speech by Mr Bowen [even back in 2013] would have been strange in thinking only about economic opportunities’, ignoring strategic downsides.  Professor Feng a China studies expert from the University of Technology Sydney who is plainly an Australian of Chinese ethnicity said Beijing was motivated by a, “united front work to extend mainland influence… Chinese regarded Australia and New Zealand as the weak link of the West as both [nations] appeared to accept the narrative of an economic dependence on China. Adding, “The PRC’s government could use such ‘closeness’ to undermine the traditional US alliance”…. “Their involvement in the port of Darwin also had implications for security because of local defence facilities”.

I have a sincere message for the Honourable Luke Foley; the majority of these issues are federal in nature, so please stick to holding the Bairdjiklian State government accountable on issues like the evidently limitless sale of public assets.

Here are just a few issues Mr Foley could investigate further about the NSW L/NP Coalition government and hopefully with a promise of an inquiry for the people of NSW about these very types of issues.

  • Sale [at giveaway terms] of formerly state government owned electricity generators and Ausgrid increasing living costs on consumers and forcing industries to close; Jobs lost!
  • The Premier’s planned Jettisoning of Crown Lands’ to privateers.
  • Privatisation of public buses.
  • Putting irreplaceable exhibits at risk of damage through the $1.5 Billion wasteful and needless transplantation of the Powerhouse museum from her purposeful Ultimo home to a Parramatta [flood zone] ‘swamp’.
  • Does Parramatta really need to have additional heritage transferred to her? When she already possesses convict era treasures’ in Fleet Street at North Parramatta, currently neglected and slated for redevelopment.

Mr Foley, you are the NSW’s opposition leader NOT Bill Shorten. I say do your job and get answers from our state’s rulers about the issues just listed.

Wake Up ‘Team Australia’.                      What he said!

Leave a Reply