New Australian law to ‘review’ state/varsity arrangements with other countries ‘inconsistent with foreign policy’

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 27 August 2020: In a move that is likely to further strain relations with China, the Scott Morrison government has decided to enact legislation to ensure the arrangements states, territories, councils and universities have with foreign governments are consistent with the Australian foreign policy.

Under the proposed law ‘…the Foreign Minister will have the power to review any existing and prospective arrangements between state and territory governments and all foreign governments.” Addressing a nationally live media conference, PM Scott Morrison said, “This legislation will support state and territory governments to ensure they are acting in a way that serves Australia’s national interests, is consistent with our values and aligned with our foreign policy objectives. This will give states and territories the confidence necessary to enter into arrangements with foreign government entities.”

The move’s first casualty is expected will be Victoria’s agreement with China on its Belt and Road Initiative, on which the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said the Belt and Road deal increased the Chinese Government’s ability to “do harm”.

In the media conference, the PM disclosed, 130 agreements with 30 countries will be reviewed.

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