If Attorney-General Christian Porter was, as reported, “incandescent with rage” over his department asking former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to register himself as an agent of foreign influence, this is further proof that our Government is out of control, Australia One leader Riccardo Bosi said today.
“When a departmental bureaucrat can ride roughshod over a non-complicit minister on such a serious matter, not only is our sovereignty at stake but it telegraphs to the nation’s voters that the ‘deep state’ is alive and well in Australia,” Mr Bosi said.
“I believe Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s ‘quiet Australians’ will want answers as to why the Government is allowing public-service employees to attack conservative speakers at a gabfest, while letting off the hook genuine agents of foreign influence. This is deeply troubling and all Australians should be very worried.”
But Mr Abbott was not the only target of the Attorney-General’s Department and its war on those involved in August’s Conservative Political Action Conference, held in Sydney.
In the first action of its kind under the foreign-influence laws, departmental deputy secretary Sarah Chidgey, advised CPAC’s Australian organiser Andrew Cooper to provide all documents between his small not-for-profit organisation LibertyWorks and the American Conservative Union, which co-hosted the conference.
Ms Chidgey asked for copies of invitations to the event, correspondence with speakers, and transcripts and recordings, and noted that failure to comply with the order within 14 days carried a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
“Let’s face it, both our major political parties are the recipients of suspect donations from Chinese corporations with connections to the Chinese Communist Party,” Mr Bosi said.
“Surely this is an area where our tax-payer-subsidised public servants should be focused, particularly when we are continually hearing of CCP agents financing political candidates, as well as influencing Australian university campuses and local government.”
Mr Bosi applauded Mr Abbott and Mr Cooper for refusing to comply with the order.