PM confirms review of controversial Darwin port lease

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed a review into the decision to lease the Port of Darwin to a Chinese company will go ahead.

During this year's federal election campaign, Albanese criticised the controversial 2015 lease of the port to Landbridge for $506 million.

The former Morrison government last year ordered a Defence Department review into the matter but it determined there were insufficient national security grounds to scrap the lease.

READ MORE: Albanese calls for transparency on any Chinese plans for Cambodian military base

But Albanese, speaking in Darwin alongside NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles, indicated a new review would be held.

"What I've said is what I said prior to the election. I will do what I said I will do. We will have a review of the circumstances of the port," he said.

"The chief minister is conscious of the fact that we will do that."

The former NT government's decision seven years ago to lease the port to China's Landbridge in a 99-year deal sparked concerns in Australia and overseas because it gave operational control of the strategic port to a foreign company.

Among the experts who raised concerns was Charles Sturt University Professor of public ethics Clive Hamilton.

"Any Chinese company, if instructed by Beijing, must engage in spying or other nefarious activity," he said last year.

"Landbridge will have no choice."

READ MORE: First of Big Four banks passes on interest rate hike

The agreement was struck as diplomatic relations between Canberra and Beijing began to freeze.

The US, which deploys hundreds of troops to Darwin every year, was also unhappy about the deal.

The then-president Barack Obama expressed US concerns to the prime minister at the time, Malcolm Turnbull.

Related posts

Interest rate hike tomorrow to bring ‘a lot of pain’

alica knopwood

Combating Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation

boostup businesses

How do You Practice Problem Solving in Python?