MEDIA RELEASE

25 May 2020

 

Tim Quilty urges Premier to rethink Belt and Road deal with Chinese government

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has urged Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews to rethink the Labor Government’s deal with the Chinese government.

The Victorian Government is entering into a deal with the Chinese Government, part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which Mr Andrews claims will bring economic benefits to the State.

However, with details of the agreement still not available to the public and following condemnation of the deal by the Australian and United States governments, Mr Quilty has told Mr Daniels: “Beware of strangers bearing gifts”.

“Mr Andrews is happy to jump into bed with the Chinese Government and sign us all up to a deal which presents a major security risk not only to Victoria, but the whole of Australia,” Mr Quilty said.

“It is not for state governments to set the agenda on foreign policy; that is a Federal Government issue, plain and simple.

“It is not only the Prime Minister of Australia who has expressed major concerns over the BRI deal: the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has commented on the deal as well, warning that it could impact relations between Australia and the United States and that they would ‘simply separate’.

“It is clear that the United States is not comfortable with any deal between us and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

Mr Quilty reminded Mr Andrews of the Trojan Horse, a ‘gift’ left by the Greeks to their enemies, the Trojans.

“Once the citizens of Troy wheeled the Trojan Horse through their gates, there was no stopping the Greeks from conquering the city,” Mr Quilty said.

“I would urge Mr Andrews to consider the implications of signing Victoria’s 6.6 million residents up to a deal with the CCP, and check what’s inside the horse.

“We are already seeing some of the results of this relationship: Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas blamed the Australian Government for the CCP’s 80 per cent tariff on Australian barley farmers, an attack motivated by a desire to defend the Premier’s BRI partners.

“At a time when more and more questions are being asked of the CCP’s BRI impact on countries that sign up, in stumbles Mr Andrews like an innocent child with his eyes firmly fixed on the pretty red lollipop with yellow stars.

“I am not convinced that this lollipop will taste as good as Mr Andrews has been led to believe, and he would do well to reconsider whether he really wants it.

“There may well be a very bitter aftertaste.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819