House debates

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Constituency Statements


10:27 am

Photo of Michael DanbyMichael Danby (Melbourne Ports, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to renew my appeal today for Australia not to allow the Huawei company to bid for the 5G network. I remind people that some months ago I said to the House:

I'm talking about Huawei and ZTE. Both these telcos are subject to government … dictates.

In Beijing. I went on:

Both Huawei and ZTE must report to a Communist Party cell at the top of their organisations. Let me issue a clarion call to this parliament … Australia's 5G network must not be sold to these telcos. Whatever instructions might be issued for Australian sovereignty—

if they were to get the bid—

… they will be compromised if we sell the construction of our new central communications 5G network to companies effectively controlled by an authoritarian government whose leader has recently been made dictator for life.

The Beijing lobby have been very active in the meantime, with full-page ads. It's been a great shame to read on the front page of the Financial Review that some of the other bidders, Nokia and Ericsson, are now fully produced in China and are also subject to having this cell of the ruling party at the top of their organisations. It is a clear example of corporate irresponsibility and greed, thinking that producing some telecommunications equipment for a dollar lower than you might be able to produce it in your own country is some reason for producing it in China. Companies really need to consider the national interest of their own countries before just going for the lowest dollar value.

When I talk about the Beijing lobby, I notice that Jennifer Hewett and Glenda Korporaal have said that the Huawei ruling will be a test of bilateral relations. Jennifer Hewett even highlights some of Huawei's laughable investigation of itself as a suitable company for the 5G network. The July 2018 report to the National Security Adviser of the United Kingdom says that the Huawei's Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board said:

… identification of shortcomings in Huawei's engineering processes have exposed new risks in the UK telecommunication networks and long-term challenges in mitigation and management.


… Huawei’s processes continue to fall short of industry good practice …

The report said:

Technical issues have been identified in Huawei' s engineering processes, leading to new risks in the UK telecommunications networks …

Also there was the announcement of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services on 23 July 2018. The John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 enacted, amongst many other provisions, section 889, titled 'Prohibition on certain telecommunications and video surveillance services or equipment'. That section expressly prohibits the federal government from procuring or obtaining— (Time expired)