Media release

Palmer blasts WA Government for allowing Chinese control of Australian airports

Clive Palmer has blasted the WA Government for allowing Chinese control of Australian airports.

“It should ring alarm bells for all Australians that the WA Labor Government has allowed Merredin Airport to transfer into Chinese ownership, meaning Australian aircraft need Chinese permission to land on their own soil,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“It is in breach of the Airports Act and seriously goes against the obligations of the WA Government to protect Australians and Australian assets.

“Normal procedure would be to obtain permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). Serious questions need to be asked as to why this secret takeover has been allowed to occur,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“It is an appalling state of affairs. Australians or Australian companies would never be allowed to build and operate airports in China, yet we allow Chinese communist government owned companies to do it here.

“The frightening reality is that if ever there was breakdown in diplomatic relations between Australia and China, these assets could be used against us,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“Australians must now be very concerned that that our politicians are acting in the interests of the Chinese communist government and not Australia.

“Premier Mark McGowan should be brought to account by the people of Western Australia,’’ Palmer said.

Former Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Dick Smith, has expressed concerns about Merredin Airport’s ownership in the past saying Australians should not need approval from the Chinese government to land on airstrips built by the local government and taxpayers.