For over two years I have been requesting meetings with the Chairman and President of CITIC Pacific Limited seeking a negotiated resolution in a friendly and co-operative forum for the long-term benefit of Australia and China. At no time would the Chairman or the President of CITIC Pacific agree to meet with me.
I have offered to meet with them any place, any time within the Australian Commonwealth. Each time they have refused a meeting. Mineralogy has put at least 10 proposals to CITIC Pacific over the last two years to get a resolution. Each time CITIC Pacific have failed to put any proposal to Mineralogy properly responded.
CITIC Pacific Pty Ltd believe in employing expensive and high-powered public relations and lobbyist firms in Australia to undermine our legal and political system. They have just wasted money in constructing the Sino project. They have not honoured legally binding contracts which Sino Iron Pty Ltd has entered into.
I invite all Australians to go to CITIC Pacific’s website and download the announcement of the 31st of March 2006 which set out CITIC Pacific and Sino Iron Pty Ltd’s obligations they entered into.
This announcement was made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by CITIC Pacific. It clearly sets out the basis to the agreement. CITIC Pacific’s announcement is made under the rules and obligations of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in accordance with the Securities laws of Hong Kong.
I further invite Australians to look at notes set out in each of their financial reports – half year and full year – that CITIC Pacific have made since 2009 where a provision has been made for mining rights in excess of $1,500,000,000 Hong Kong dollars being paid to Mineralogy.
The accounts have been signed by their chairman who refuses to meet with me, by their directors and verified by independent auditors PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
And yet we still find the CITIC chairman lying to the Australian public, saying it’s rubbish that they don’t owe money to Mineralogy.
CITIC Pacific’s behaviour is disgraceful and dishonourable. CITIC Pacific is trying to have the Australian government overruling our judicial system. I feel compelled to warn all Australian companies to be careful when using a foreign partner. This doesn’t mean that all Chinese companies act in this manner. It just means CITIC Pacific is trying to corrupt our system. The Chairman of CITIC Pacific Limited seeks to corrupt our legal and political system for reasons only known to them.
The Federal Court’s judgment yesterday found Mineralogy is the true operator of the Cape Preston Port. It is a ridiculous position that CITIC Pacific was seeking to have a foreign corporation control an Australian port. It’s not in Australia’s national interest to lose control of our ports.
Sino Iron in its submission to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in 2006 made it clear that the port would be owned and operated by Mineralogy. CITIC Pacific’s statement on March 31 2006 also made it clear as do legal agreements between the companies.
As paragraph 85 from yesterday’s judgment clearly states and confirms, CITIC has no legal rights to occupation of the port.
It states: “The CITIC parties were not persons responsible for managing the operations of the Port. Rather, they were persons responsible for managing some operations in certain areas of the Port. They were not able to point to any agreement or source of rights that gave them power to manage the operations of the Port. Such rights as they had derived from their agreements with Mineralogy and nothing in those, to which they referred in argument, conferred such a right. The agreement between CITIC and CPPC was a private arrangement between those two corporations, amongst the CITIC parties themselves that could not, and did not, confer any status as to the public role of managing the operations of the Port. That agreement did not affect Mineralogy’s position as the CITIC parties’ effective landlord. The CITIC parties would be the first users of the Port, would have a role as a, or the only, port facility operator and would conduct the transhipping and export operations. However, those were private activities that did not amount to a responsibility for managing the operations of the Port. That was the role of the harbourmaster and the State, to whose views the delegate did have regard.”
Notwithstanding the above facts, CITIC Pacific has utilised the port to ship Australian resources to China without proper payment made to Australian companies.
This is a disturbing development and will result, if not corrected, in legal challenges against those allowing this to happen.
No system is so evil that its people’s achievements cannot be recognised by countries. We admire the Chinese people for their achievements in science, space and in industry. They are courageous and have shown bravery in the Second World War as they fought with Australia against our common foe. We wish them no ill at all. All Mineralogy seeks is a friendly co-operative approach to supply long-term iron ore to China for the mutual benefit of the Chinese and Australian people.
As a great man once said many years ago a mistake does not become an error until we refuse to correct it. I invite CITIC Pacific to correct their actions before it becomes an error”.