West Australian Premier Colin Barnett says Australia needs to protect some resources in the national interest but it can’t be sensitive about investment from foreign State-owned enterprises.
Mr Barnett told the China’s Century conference today that investment by Chinese Government-controlled enterprises was crucial.
“We seem to welcome Chinese buying of our exports but we seem to have an unsure view of Chinese investment,” he said.
He said he doesn’t see any issue around China’s State-owned firms buying into Australian companies, including the controversial sale of Cubbie station.
“But I think what we should do is look for (what affects) ... the national interest, and if that investment impacts on it,” he said.
He cited his objection to Chinese investment in the Oakajee Port project as one example of where the national interest took precedence.
Mr Barnett also used the conference to warn that while relations with China and the mining industry could sustain his state’s economy in the near future, that won’t be the case for the rest of the country.
“We simply cannot sit back and think this (mining) industry is going to provide an easy life for Australia.“It might for parts of Western Australia, but it won’t for Australia as a whole.”
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