WA LABOR PARTY —
1317. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the Leader of the House
representing the Premier:
I refer to the recent article in The
Australian entitled ''MP 'overlooked' ties to
Chinese Communist Party''.
(1) Are there any
other members of the WA Labor Party with links to the WA Australian Council —
Hon Darren West interjected.
SMITH: I am sorry, member; I am trying to speak, thanks. I ask again —
(1) Are there any
other members of the WA Labor Party with links to the WA Australian Council for
the Promotion of the Peaceful Reunification of China?
(2) Has the
Premier had any contact from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
or associated commonwealth security organisations regarding these revelations
about Hon Pierre Yang?
(3) Does the Premier support Hon Pierre Yang
promoting Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative at the first WA Belt
and Road international trade summit on 31 July 2018?
(4) Was this presentation at the
behest of the WA Labor Party?
(5) Is the Western Australian
government going to sign up to the Belt and Road Initiative?
(6) Given the
mounting evidence of Beijing's interference in Australian affairs, why
did the McGowan government pay Huawei $206 million, despite national security
concerns, to maintain a public transport media data network?
The PRESIDENT: Leader of the House,
before I give you the call, I am just going to remind members that when they
ask a question, I am going to refer them to standing order 104, which states —
Questions may be asked of —
(a) a Minister or Parliamentary Secretary relating to
public affairs with which the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary is
connected, to proceedings in the Council, or to any matter of administration
for which the Minister or Parliamentary Secretary is responsible;
raise that and remind members of that standing order, because I do not believe
that the first part of the question adheres to it. Leader of the House, when
you get the call, you may choose not to respond, particularly to the first part
of that question, although there may be other parts that also fall away from
the standing order. That is up to you.
Thank you, Madam President. I thank
the honourable member for some notice of the question. The answer to part (1)
refers to the standing orders, just as you outlined, Madam President.
(1) This is a matter
for the Labor Party and, as per the standing orders of this place, the Premier
is not able to answer the question as it does not relate to actions or
decisions of a sworn minister of the Crown.
(3) Hon Pierre Yang did not attend a
summit on 31 July 2018.
(4) Not applicable.
(5) The Western Australian
government has not been asked to, in the member's language, ''sign
up'' to the Belt and Road Initiative; however, as the Premier has said
in the media, we want to see a continued strong relationship with China for the
economic benefit of the people of Western Australia. As the member would be
aware, many thousands of local jobs are underpinned by our trade relationship.
The Premier is keen for governments at all levels in Australia to foster close
relationships with China.
(6) I assume the
member is referring to the radio systems replacement contract. The radio
systems replacement project will result in a private network with use
restricted to the transmission of operational data to support the Public
Transport Authority's passenger rail services. As the government has
repeatedly said, the commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has advised us
that it has not identified any issues that would prevent the project from