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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 518 asked in the Legislative Council on 21 May 2020 by Hon Robin Scott

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 21 May 2020

CHINA–AUSTRALIA TRADE RELATIONS — CONSUL GENERAL DONG

518. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to yesterday's report that Premier McGowan had asked the Minister for Regional Development to speak to China's Consul General, Madam Dong, about China's dispute with Australia and said he would not call Madam Dong himself so he would not be accused of meddling in foreign affairs.

(1) Is the report true and did the minister speak with Consul General Dong?

(2) If so, what was said in that conversation?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question—sort of. I continue to be worried, generally, about the comments he makes.

Hon Robin Scott: Madam President!

Withdrawal of Remark

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN: Sorry, I withdraw that.

Questions without Notice Resumed

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN: The answer is as follows.

(1) I certainly did speak with Madam Dong.

(2) I spoke to her around the issue of barley, as we have done so previously. She confirmed that she and her government absolutely understood that the McGowan government had always made great efforts to ensure that there was a very constructive relationship. She said that she thought that this was really now very much an issue that focused around the federal government. Madam Dong also made various comments, I think, about her personal circumstances, which I do not propose to share with the honourable member.