Thursday, 10 December 2020
Questions without Notice
Papua New Guinea: Foreign Investment
My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. It concerns the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the government of Papua New Guinea, the Fly River provincial government and China's Fujian Zhonghong Fishery company for the construction of a $200 million multifunction fishery industrial park on the island of Daru, in close proximity to the Torres Strait. Did the PNG government consult with the Australian government prior to entering into this agreement, which was announced by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and strongly backed by the Chinese ambassador in Port Moresby? What views has the Australian government expressed to PNG about this project? What are the national security implications for Australia of a permanent Chinese fishing presence next to the Torres Strait? Is it not the case that such a presence will complicate our security and provide China with a new foothold for interference in PNG?