House debates

Wednesday, 2 June 2021


Department of Defence

4:41 pm

Photo of Bob KatterBob Katter (Kennedy, Katter's Australian Party) Share this | Hansard source

I second the motion. We could talk about strategic economic assets, but my honourable colleague who is moving this said, the first time we moved it, that you couldn't make this up. You seriously couldn't make this up! Australia's most strategic security asset is that information system. And it's in the hands of people that put on their national television, over there in China, pictures of Australian soldiers cutting the throats of babies. They advocated, five weeks ago, that Australia should be bombed. And you've given them all of the control of your information system.

Now, I was a minister for almost a decade in the Queensland government and I know the power of inertia, and I would plead with the honourable Minister for Defence and the Assistant Minister for Defence to understand. Don't underestimate the power of inertia in the Public Service. They will undermine and ignore you continuously and continuingly and give you four million reasons why they can't do it. There is no way of dealing with public servants, except with ruthless brutality. And if you don't agree with that statement, then you do so at your own peril, because we're in a parliament here where the answer to our strategic fuel security was to put our tanks in the United States! Well, I don't know—when I went to school, they told me the United States was on the other side of the globe! It's in the Northern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere and we are in the Southern Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere. Now, I don't blame the minister. I think they're dealing with people who will never admit they're wrong and will constantly assert that they were right 'because'—and if you think that you can override them, then you are kidding yourself. And there is only one way of dealing with them.

The previous speaker has great respect in this place. He worked in the field of strategic security in our armed forces and was a senior officer in the Army in this field, so he knows what he's talking about. But I think that 25 million Australians know what he's talking about.

I have never seen a government more out of step with the people. They've let every asset be taken over by foreigners. If you go through the strategic assets, you may say that water is one of the most important. Well, Cubbie Station is the biggest consumer of water in Australia, and it's owned by foreigners. If you want to go to electricity, 42 per cent of the electricity control in Australia is in the hands of Chinese corporations, some of which are owned directly by the Chinese government. Some 15 per cent of our electricity is now coming from glass on the roofs. That all comes from China. Every single piece of glass comes from China. If you want to add it up, that kicks it up to 60 per cent of our electricity being controlled out of China.

I gave a scenario in a question last week in parliament. As a compulsive reader of history books since I was six years of age, I am well aware of the lessons of history. Our fuel comes from Singapore and South Korea. We export all of our own oil and condensate and we import our petrol and diesel from overseas, from Singapore and South Korea. They are two countries that are not going to defy China. If China bungs on an embargo—and for those of you that are my age, we saw embargoes by the Middle East on numerous occasions—if you say that it doesn't happen, the First World War was effectively a reaction to Winston Churchill buying a majority share in British Petroleum. The English people already owned Shell— (Time expired)


No comments