Commentary on Political Economy

Friday, 27 March 2020


Union seeks investigation into exports of medical supplies to China

Health Workers Union Victorian secretary Diana Asmar has written to Attorney-General Christian Porter calling for the export of tens of tonnes of medical supplies to China by two major Chinese property developers, as revealed by the The Age, to be "fully investigated" as possible breaches of foreign interference laws.
"If there was ever a time to crackdown on Chinese Communist interference in our domestic affairs, it is now," Ms Asmar wrote in the letter sent to Mr Porter on Friday.
"Their actions, and the actions of their associates living in Australia, will undoubtedly cost Australian lives."
Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone said "any attempt to take valuable PPE to another part of the world at the expense of the Australian community" was "deplorable".
"All efforts should be made to ensure this practice cannot happen and, where it does happen, the full weight of the law is brought upon them," Dr Bartone said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that the government was working on "tough" new regulations to enable Australian Border Force to police exports of medical supplies and "crack down on this".
"It is very disappointing, to say the least," Mr Morrison said.

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