Huawei reassures Australia it's 'secure'

Huawei chairman John Lord says the Chinese telco presents no threat to national security

The local arm of Chinese-owned telecoms services and equipment giant Huawei wants Australians to know it's not a threat to national security.

Chairman John Lord, a former rear admiral, also says the controversial company's equipment is "safe and secure".

"Banning Huawei will not make the Australian telecom ecosystem safer, but will have a huge impact on the industry and the prices and services Australians receive," he said ahead of his Press Club speech on Wednesday.

"It will be a great policy failure and demonstrate to the world that we are not ready for the new reality of a smart and innovative China."

Australia recently decided to fund new data cables to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea rather than let Huawei build them, over concerns about Chinese intelligence getting access to them.

And Huawei looks set to be banned from being involved in the rollout of 5G mobile technology in Australia for the same reasons.

Landmark foreign interference bills are also likely to clear the Senate on Wednesday.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is loathe to publicly discuss security issues surrounding Huawei, saying only that the government has sought advice from intelligence agencies.

"We want to ensure the people who influence and make decisions about our democracy are Australians," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"This is all about security and sunlight and sovereignty."

Mr Lord recently wrote an open letter to MPs saying the company abides by local laws in each country it operates in.

"Countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Spain, Italy and New Zealand, just to name a few, have managed to embrace Huawei's technology within their own national security frameworks," he said.

"We believe this can be done in Australia also."