Thursday, 17 February 2022
I claim to have been misrepresented, by the Australian newspaper in its editorial today and by a number of members opposite, regarding my statements at a press conference in Moruya held on 27 January. They have selectively quoted my words in order to misrepresent my answer about sanctions that are taking place from China against Australia. I said this:
That's not in China's interest and it's not in Australia's interests. And China should, and I hope that the Ambassador would, support the withdrawal of those effective sanctions which are in place, whether it be for our natural resources or our products such as wine and agricultural products as well.
Mr Speaker, my statement in response to a question from a journalist was very clear. It went to the entirety of the sanctions that have been placed on Australia. Those opposite know it, and so does any journalist worth their salt.
I am, Mr Speaker. It's been a bad week for misrepresentations.
A number of newspaper reports have referred to my attendance for the opening of the museum at the University of Sydney. That museum was opened by the Governor of New South Wales. I attend a number of events at the University of Sydney as a former graduate of economics at the university.
I also want to put on the record, somewhat unusually, that today I met with the Director-General of ASIO, which I do regularly, and I sought his permission to state to the parliament that I consulted the Director-General of ASIO before accepting that invitation. I did that, and I do regularly consult with our national security agencies, because I take their role seriously as Leader of the Opposition and the abuse of national security provisions has been quite a disgrace and is undermining Australia's national interests.