Good morning, early birds. The Chinese Communist Party has tried to hose down fears in Australian Parliament about foreign donations and influence. Plus, Labor is on the cusp of victory in Queensland, and that’s bad news for Adani. It’s the news you need to know, with Max Chalmers.


The Chinese government has responded ($) to months of focus on the role of Communist Party-linked donors and lobbyists in Australia by rebuking the media for what it called a “Cold War mentality and ideological bias, [that has] reflected typical anti-China hysteria and paranoia”.

The statement was issued by the Chinese embassy and came alongside comments from a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson who said the country had “no intention to interfere in Australia’s internal affairs or exert influence through political donations”.

Legislation banning foreign political donations and forcing lobbyists for foreign powers to register as such was unveiled by the government earlier this week. According The Sydney Morning Herald, former prime minister Paul Keating is among those who may have to register under such laws because of his advisory role with the state-owned China Development Bank.

The new laws will be debated as pressure continues to be applied to Labor Senator Sam Dastyari who, according to a report ($) in News Corp papers, put China’s concerns about Australia’s response to certain issues — like the South China Sea dispute — to Defence officials 115 times in Senate estimates hearings. The story says that shadow frontbencher Tony Burke was left angry with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten over a decision to ban Labor accepting Chinese donations.


The future of Australia’s most controversial mining project is in doubt with the Labor Party on the verge of claiming majority government in Queensland. Labor has now claimed the seat of Gaven, which would give it a majority, but is yet to officially claim victory overall with a number of close races still being counted.

Fairfax reports that Greens candidate Michael Berkman will today claim victory in the Brisbane seat of Maiwar. It would be the party’s first seat in the Queensland Parliament.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has vowed to veto a federal loan to Adani’s planned Carmichael coal mine. Adani insists it remains committed to the project ($), despite assurances from Chinese banks they will not provide the requisite finance.


Two men have had not guilty pleas entered on their behalf after allegedly plotting to assassinate British Prime Minister Theresa May. The two young men where charged over an alleged plan to bomb the gates of 10 Downing Street and then enter the property to kill the Prime Minister.


Same-sex marriage bill looks set to pass Parliament

Time magazine names ‘The Silence Breakers’ behind #MeToo movement as Person of the Year

Defiant Trump confirms US will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel


Brisbane: Former MP and businessman Clive Palmer required to front court in Queensland Nickel case.

Canberra: The Nationals will hold a ballot to elect a new deputy leader after Fiona Nash was booted from parliament over her dual-citizenship.


Events favour Malcolm Turnbull hanging on for a little time yet — Niki Savva (The Australian $): “Attorney-General George Brandis, once a magnet for mishaps, has been a standout performer on national security, citizenship and in the debate on same-sex marriage. Maybe he should stay.”


    Reflecting on Noel Pearson’s dual failure — Guy Rundle: “Trouble is, the essay suggests he still hasn’t understood that superficial formulae lead to these results.”

    Shoppers in Bennelong aren’t buying what Labor is selling — Irfan Yusuf: “It didn’t really matter who I spoke to – my Middle Eastern chemist in Ryde or the lady behind the op shop counter in West Ryde or the Malaysian dude who sells confectionary at the Taiwanese night market in Eastwood – most people displayed little interest in the campaign, which can only help the incumbent. Contrast this to when John Howard lost the seat and Maxine McKew became a one term wonder. Back then, many voters were on a mission to toss out the PM in the most humiliating fashion.”

    Hope for an end to Yemen civil war dashed with killing of former president — Damien Kingsbury: “For Yemen, then, the question of Saudi support depends less on who is the Yemen president, and more on whether they remain, in effect, a tributary to Saudi Arabia. To that end, the Yemen civil war will continue until the Saudi-supported forces win. At this stage, such a victory is not yet in sight.”


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    Peter Fray
    Peter Fray
    Editor-in-chief of Crikey