THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON CHRIS BOWEN MP
MEMBER FOR MCMAHON
ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT BANK
MONDAY, 24 NOVEMBER 2014
Labor is very concerned about new reports of division in the Abbott Cabinet over the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
We believe the Abbott Government should be actively engaging China on its proposal for an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. That can’t happen if senior ministers like the Treasurer, the Foreign Minister, and now the Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, continue to squabble amongst themselves.
Of course, governance and transparency arrangements, as well as environmental, social, and labour matters in relation to the proposal will need to be worked through.
But there is an enormous need for increased infrastructure investment in the Asia Pacific, and we welcome additional investment from China in the region.
Today, reports say Andrew Robb has joined the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, in support of China’s proposal. This pits them both against Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who is reportedly leading the charge against the bank.
It’s clear from media reports that the Abbott Government is hopelessly divided on this issue.
These fresh reports of division and dysfunction inside the Abbott Cabinet are extraordinary.
This is not how important economic decisions should be made.
The Prime Minister needs to show some leadership, bring his feuding Cabinet to order, and immediately clarify the Government’s position.