Dec 11, 2017

Who is the committee that could imprison Dastyari for his Chinese entanglements?

Senator Sam Dastyari lives appear to be running out, with more revelations and a referral to the privileges committee; is this the end for Dasher?

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis


The drip-feed of incriminating stories about Labor senator Sam Dastyari and his dealings with Chinese interests continued to lubricate the country’s major papers, with the The Australian and Fairfax both printing “exclusives” this morning claiming Dastyari had asked deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek not to meet with a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong back in 2015. A spokesman for Dastyari described the story, which cites “multiple” anonymous sources, as “complete rubbish”. Regardless, Attorney-General George Brandis has already referred Dasher to the Senate’s privileges committee over his relationships with Chinese donors.   

The media routinely describe the committee as “powerful”, but what is the privileges committee, and what power does it have? It’s been observed that, while Labor leader Bill Shorten could expel the embattled senator from the party, Shorten doesn’t have the power to kick Dastyari out of the Senate. So could being hauled in front of the committee be the end for Dasher?

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

8 thoughts on “Who is the committee that could imprison Dastyari for his Chinese entanglements?

  1. leon knight

    The LNP majority privileges committee is unlikely to find that Dastyari’s modus operandi with Australian/Chinese relations is correct and Turnbull’s is wrong – even though that is quite likely the case.

  2. Marilyn J Shepherd

    China is not our enemy, why are 100% of the stupid media carrying on as if we are at war with them and not considering the consequences of their mind numbing ignorance?

    What is 1.3 million Chinese decided not to spend their tourist dollars here, or 300,000 Chinese students, or what if all trade was halted.

    That is the end of our economic progress for decades to come. Enough already, this seems to be a very racist witch hunt where white Australian pollies are allowed to collect hundreds of thousands from Chinese donors but not one born in Iran.

    Grow up, the cold war is over.

  3. Jimbo

    Surely there is a huge issue so far hardly touched as to how this drip feed of info is coming from. If it is ASIO or another security agency it must be of serious concern.

    1. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

      It’s coming from the Labor Party. Sam is toast . . . or Shorten will be a toothpick.

  4. klewso

    Is it me? Or is it strange that our ‘national security agencies’ can leak when it suits them and the party of their choice?
    But that’s not of concern – when it comes to matters of such ‘national security’ like this?

  5. AR

    It is a perfect example of the Great Australian Somnolence in general, and esp the next 6-8 weeks of sun, sex, food, drugs & alcohol in particular, will this stuff will be drizzled like cold pressed extra virgin (72?) oil over a smashed avocado latte and nobody will have the shit to give to say, ‘yeh, and Talcum too, toss us another tinnie mate!’.

  6. GideonPolya

    All Senator Dastyari has done has been to sensibly advocate a more balanced and Australia-centred Australian position in relation to its China trade versus US Alliance dilemma, a sensible and patriotic position that has been adopted by eminent conservatives such as the late PM Malcom Fraser, senior diplomat Richard Woolcott, our top national security and strategy expert Professor Hugh White and many others (see Gideon Polya, “Review: “Disruptive Asia. Asia’s rise and Australia’s future – exceptionalist Australia & resurgent Asia” – 2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/07/10/review-disruptive-asia-asias-rise-and-australias-future-exceptionalist-australia-resurgent-asia/ and Malcolm Fraser, “Slavish devotion to the US a foreign policy folly for Australia”, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Decemebr 2010: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/slavish-devotion-to-the-us-a-foreign-policy-folly-for-australia-20101213-18vec.html ).

    What about the cushy post-politics jobs for Lib-Lab politicians with US companies, notably US defence companies, in return for “slavish devotion to the US”? And consider the Zionist-funded junkets to Apartheid Israel for fervently pro-Zionist, pro-Apartheid Israel and hence pro-Apartheid Lib-Lab politicians and journalists (see “I’ve been to Israel too”, Middle East Reality Check: http://middleeastrealitycheck.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/ive-been-to-israel-too.html ).

    Our Zionist-perverted, US lackey Mainstream media resolutely ignore the reality that the attack on Dastyari is an attack on an important MP and on Parliamentary democracy itself by un-elected, anonymous spooks of US-beholden Australian Intelligence. Emboldened by the slavish response from US lackey Mainstream Australia, Australian Intelligence is now reported by the conservative, US-owned newspaper “The Australian” to have identified 10 more political candidates it objects to (Paul Maley and Nicola Berkovic, “ASIO flags Manchurian candidates”, The Weekend Australian, 9 December 2017, page 1) . Indeed Professor Hugh White has expertly stated : “Australia can no longer assure China that nothing we do as a US ally is directed at China, because for Washington the alliance today is all about acting together to resist China’s ambitions… I don’t think it is up to the Intelligence Agencies to make the decisions on that. And one of the slightly worrying things about the way the Sam Dastyari story has come out, there is to my mind a sense , if you look at the stories, that we might be seeing our Intelligence Agencies leaking information, either with authorization of the Government or not, about material they’re collecting in their intelligence collection operations, and that’s a very worrying trend if it is happening” (see Gideon Polya, “US Lackey Australia Attacks Free Speech Of Senator Dastyari, Muslims, Chinese, Journalists & Truth-Tellers”, Countercurrents, 10 December 2017: http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/12/10/us-lackey-australia-attacks-free-speech-of-senator-dastyari-muslims-chinese-journalists-truth-tellers/ ) ,

    1. Jimbo

      Gideon. The possible involvement of ASIO seems to be an untouchable area for the media right now. Turnbull was asked about this on Q&A last night. He was let off after he jokingly skirted around the issue and they simply moved on. There is the other possibility that the Chinese gentleman concerned released recordings to the media. His personal translator who was present when Dastyari was recorded, is now working for the Liberals in the Bennelong by-election. (published last week) The media seems curiously leaves this alone.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details