The Foreign Influence Transparency Registry
Australian Chinese Daily (澳洲新报)
13 March 2019

The following is a translation of an article published in the Australian Chinese Daily (澳洲新报).

 

No Chinese Community Organisations Have Registered with the Attorney-General’s Department

 

The grace period for the registration of individual institutions affected by the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act expired on Sunday (March 10), and no Chinese community association has registered with the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD). Leaders of Chinese community associations told this newspaper that they do not need to register because, by their nature, they are not listed in the regulations of the Act. This newspaper previously reported that a certain Association of Fellow Townspeople (a Village / Province Association) was investigated by the Federal Police Security Department for its relationship with the People’s Republic of China. That association also did not register with the AGD. Leaders of Chinese community associations pointed out that the Village / Provincial Association was composed of people originally from the same village or province and was purely social. There was no need for it to register since it conducted no political lobbying activity.

 

Other large-scale Chinese community associations have also not registered. The leaders of those associations pointed out that their activities do not involve politics, therefore there is simply no need to register with the AGD.

 

A long-established Village / Provincial Association held a meeting last week to discuss whether or not it should register, but finally decided not to.

 

The AGD placed a Chinese-language advertisement in this newspaper last Saturday introducing the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Act to ethnic Chinese and listing the circumstances under which individuals and institutions need to register.

 

According to the Act, if an individual or institution conducts political lobbying activities in Australia or disseminates information providing political opinions to the Australian public on behalf of a foreign country or foreign entity, it is required to register with the AGD.

 

Some leaders of Chinese community associations are dissatisfied with the government’s creation of a law on foreign interference transparency. They believe that the Australian government is targeting the Chinese community and its associations.

 

They said that in fact, other ethnic communities also have their own community organisations. Some of their activities may also require registration in accordance with the law. However, the government’s approach gives the Chinese community the feeling that it is aimed at the Chinese community and this is very unfair to the Chinese.

 

At present, 9 organisations or individuals have registered with the AGD as representatives for foreign entities, and have conducted lobbying or information dissemination activities in Australia.  One of the registered persons is Warwick King, and the foreign entity represented is Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd, which is located in China.

 

The activity registered by Warwick King is general political lobbying, which it began on 17 January 2019.

 

Another registered entity is the United States Studies Centre. It represents the US State Department and conducts general lobbying activities.

 

David Palmer represents the Truth Outreach Company which lobbies parliamentarians. It conducts general political lobbying and communications activities. The location of the foreign entity is the United States.

 

One foreign entity, Equinor, was registered by three organisations and one individual, all for general lobbying. The entity is located in Norway.

 

Former Defense Minister Brendan Nelson represents Thales Australia Ltd and conducts other activities on its behalf. The location of the foreign entity is France.

 

The Trustee for Sandra Eccles Family Trust, conducts general lobbying activities in Australia on behalf of PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd. The location of the foreign entity is Thailand.

 

Translation by: Chris Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of Translation: 12 March 2019

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