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senate vote 2017-06-14#9

Edited by mackay

on 2018-08-10 15:53:27

Title

  • Motions Influence of Foreign Agents
  • Motions - Influence of Foreign Agents - Royal Commission

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Cory Bernardi</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the Senate&#8212;</p>
  • The majority voted against a [motion](https://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?id=2017-06-14.345.1) introduced by Senator [Cory Bernardi](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/sa/cory_bernardi) (SA), which means it failed.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That the Senate—*
  • > *(a) notes reports, arising from a joint investigation by the ABC Four Corners program and Fairfax Media, broadcast on 5 June 2017 regarding the increasing influence of the People's Republic of China in Australia's political system and within academia; and*
  • > *(b) calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor-General issue Letters Patent to establish a royal commission into the following:*
  • >> *(i) the influence of foreign agents in offering direct or indirect benefits to politicians, political parties, governments and academia with a view to influencing decisions or other actions by those recipients to be in accord with the view of foreign governments, including, but not limited to, the Chinese Communist Party, and*
  • >> *(ii) possible reforms to preserve the sovereignty, transparency and integrity of Australian democracy.*
  • <p class="italic">(a) notes reports, arising from a joint investigation by the ABC <i>Four Corners</i> program and Fairfax Media, broadcast on 5 June 2017 regarding the increasing influence of the People's Republic of China in Australia's political system and within academia; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor-General issue Letters Patent to establish a royal commission into the following:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(i) the influence of foreign agents in offering direct or indirect benefits to politicians, political parties, governments and academia with a view to influencing decisions or other actions by those recipients to be in accord with the view of foreign governments, including, but not limited to, the Chinese Communist Party, and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(ii) possible reforms to preserve the sovereignty, transparency and integrity of Australian democracy.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Lee Rhiannon</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to amend the motion of Senator Bernardi by removing (b)(i) and (b)(ii) and substituting the words 'the corrupting influence of large political donations on the transparency and integrity of Australian democracy'.</p>
  • <p>Leave granted.</p>
  • <p>I move the motion as amended.</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the Senate&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) notes reports, arising from a joint investigation by the ABC Four Corners program and Fairfax Media, broadcast on 5 June 2017 regarding the increasing influence of the People's Republic of China in Australia's political system and within academia; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) calls on the Prime Minister to request His Excellency the Governor¬-General issue Letters Patent to establish a royal commission into the following:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(i) the corrupting influence of large political donations on the transparency and integrity of Australian democracy</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rachel Siewert</p>
  • <p>Could we cancel the division, please.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>With the agreement of the Senate, the division is cancelled. I gather you have accepted the fact that it is as a result of that question.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Rachel Siewert</p>
  • <p>We take it we lost.</p>
  • <p>Question negatived.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>The question now is that the motion moved by Senator Bernardi be agreed to.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">James McGrath</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to make a short statement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>Leave is granted for one minute.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">James McGrath</p>
  • <p>The government acknowledges that the threat of political interference by foreign intelligence services is a problem of the highest order and that it is getting worse. Earlier this year, the Prime Minister initiated a comprehensive review of Australia's espionage and foreign interference laws and the Attorney-General is leading this review. As part of this process, we are considering the adequacy and effectiveness of the espionage offences, relevant international frameworks and whether there are complimentary provisions that would strengthen our agency's ability to investigate and prosecute acts of foreign interference. It would not be appropriate to establish any other inquiry including a royal commission until that review has been completed.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Don Farrell</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to make a short statement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>Leave is granted for one minute.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Don Farrell</p>
  • <p>The Leader of the Opposition has written to the Prime Minister expressing Labor's strong desire for action on this issue, urging him to instruct the coalition to refuse donations from the individuals named in the <i>Four Corners</i> report, as we have done. Labor has long advocated for a ban on foreign donations to Australian political parties and associated entities.</p>
  • <p>The Rudd and Gillard Labor governments attempted to ban foreign donations three times but our legislation was blocked in the Senate. Guess by whom? Last November, I introduced a private member's bill to ban foreign donations. In February this year, the opposition leader introduced the same legislation in that House. With the government's support, these important reforms could be made law as a matter of priority. The opposition leader has also written to the Prime Minister, calling on the government to support our call for a bipartisan reference to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. <i>(Time expired)</i></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Lee Rhiannon</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to make a short statement.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>Leave is granted for one minute.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Lee Rhiannon</p>
  • <p>The Greens support investigations and policies to strengthen the transparency and integrity of Australian democracy. I am proud of our track record on this issue. Former senators Bob Brown and Christine Milne introduced the first bills for a national integrity commission into this Senate eight years ago. However, we do not support using political donations to beat the nationalist drum in order to distract from domestic sources of corruption. We would support an investigation into the influence of political donations from Australia and overseas and the influence of powerful lobbyists. We would certainly welcome an investigation into how ex-members of parliament, who slide easily into well-paying private sector jobs, might be compromising the integrity of our democracy. But this motion does none of that. It is pure dog whistling to avoid tackling these very serious issues.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>The question is that the motion moved by Senator Bernardi be agreed to.</p>