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By January 4, 2021May 11th, 2021SMOS

Labor calls on the Prime Minister to explain how two members of his own party came to be closely associated with a man deemed a national security risk by ASIO.

Foreign interference is a real and growing threat that we must take very seriously.

Scott Morrison must ensure that Gladys Liu and Michael Sukkar both cooperate fully with any police or ASIO investigation and explain any links with Mr Liu.

There are now even more questions for Gladys Liu to answer – she still hasn’t properly explained the nature of her previous associations with foreign organisations to the parliament.

And Mr Sukkar, a member of Mr Morrison’s ministry who is already embroiled in Liberal Party branch stacking allegations in Victoria must explain how he came to be so closely associated with Mr Liu that he sent him a personalised hand-written Christmas card thanking him for his “friendship and support”.

While Mr Morrison has a hopeless track record of holding his MPs to account when they do the wrong thing – our agencies do take foreign interference seriously.

As the head of ASIO Mike Burgess said in February last year, the threat of foreign interference is “unprecedented” and “higher now than it was at the height of the Cold War”.

This is why Labor:

  • supported the introduction of the Foreign Interference Transparency Scheme and the Espionage and Foreign Interference Bill in 2018;
  • banned accepting foreign donations two years before the Government finally made the ban law; and
  • established a Senate Inquiry into foreign interference through social media.

If more can be done to combat foreign interference, we are willing to work with our national security agencies and the Government to do it.