Australian PM pledges to publish Darwin port review

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has promised the government will release a review of the 99-year lease of Darwin Harbor to Chinese companies with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Darwin Port, Australia’s key gateway and strategic resource hub, was leased to China-owned Landbridge for 99 years in 2015 for A$506 million (US$363 million) .

The lease has raised concerns for both the Australian Department of Defense and the U.S. government, with former U.S. President Barack Obama communicate his concerns Directly to then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

In response, the former coalition, led by Scott Morrison, began reviewing the lease in late 2021, but concluded that there was no national security reason to reverse the deal.

However, Albanese said it will publish the review on August 22nd.

“He said he would consider the ownership of the lease on the port of Darwin,” Albanese told reporters. ”

“When it happened we were against it. I was a shadow [infrastructure] Minister at the time, we were concerned about it and expressed our opposition,” he said on August 22.

“I am asking for advice and when I receive it, of course I will make it public.”

Epoch Times photo
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks at the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, Australia, 28 July 2022. (Martin Ollman/Getty Images)

Media asks for access to port reviews

The controversial lease of Darwin Harbor became one of the hottest topics in Australia’s federal election debates this year.

The then-opposition leader Albanese accused Morrison of failing to block the signing of the lease when he was Treasury Secretary, but Morrison countered that the federal government could not interfere in the Northern Territory’s decisions.

After winning the federal election, Albanese confirmed in June that the labor government would begin a new review of its leasing.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) clearly After the Labor Party won in May, the media sought access to the review under Freedom of Information.

The Pentagon denied ABC’s request, saying the material was excluded because it was produced for the Cabinet, and instead published a series of “gists” that shed light on some of the related questions. rice field.

This was done amid concerns over China’s growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific, particularly the Solomon Islands, after the signing of a bilateral security agreement.

Epoch Times Sydney Staff