Australian government propose new foreign veto powers, PM Scott Morrison cites ‘National interest’.
MUMBAI – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeks new veto powers over states to regulate all agreements with foreign powers. Over next week this new legislation will be introduced by Morrison’s conservative government amid trade tensions between Australia and China and to weaken China’s influence.
“These laws are about Australia’s national sovereign interests,” Morrison said.
As per the new proposed legislation, all the upcoming and existing agreements of state and territory governments, local councils and public universities including foreign university research partnerships will be reviewed by the Foreign Minister. The government can cancel those agreements including Victoria state agreement with China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2018.
Morrison has criticized that agreement in the past. Australia’s eight states will have to disclose their perviously signed agreements as well.
“There’s been discussions between the prime minister and Victoria” regarding the law’s impact on the deal, McCormack said. “We want to make sure that if there are arrangements being put in place that they are done in the national interest.”
The legislation will be covering crucial sectors including tourism, infrastructure, education, science, trade cooperation, cultural partnership and health.
“Australians rightly expect the federal government they elect to set foreign policy,” Morrison said.
“These changes and new laws will ensure that every arrangement done by any Australian government at any level now lines up with how we are working to protect and promote Australia’s national interest.”