Labor Surrenders to Government on Senate China Inquiry
"Federal Labor’s decision to oppose a Senate inquiry on Australia’s relations with China is a sad act of political cowardice," Senator Rex Patrick has said.
"Labor’s claimed commitment to bipartisanship looks a lot like a political party that’s running scared."
"In Labor’s view China is so sensitive an issue that it can only be discussed behind closed doors, and certainly not in earshot of the Australian public."
"The Senate inquiry proposed by Centre Alliance, which Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching would have chaired, would have provided a much needed forum for a comprehensive and sober discussion of this hugely important relationship, facilitating holistic policy development and involving a full range of expertise and interests from within and outside the Australian Government."
"This political self-censorship about a key international relationship does not bode well for Australian democracy and sovereignty."
Centre Alliance still intends to move the motion during business of the Senate on Monday to give all parties an opportunity to express their views.