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WA Premier Colin Barnett’s new business deal with China opens Australia to further foreign exploitation of resources and infrastructure, according to Greens senator Scott Ludlam.
After returning from a two-day visit to China last week Barnett said he had taken the unprecedented step of signing a memorandum of understanding with the country.
The deal symbolised a trade and investment co-operation deal between China and WA over resources, energy, agriculture, food, and infrastructure.
Ludlam said in a statement yesterday the deal would “boost exploitation by foreign mining companies at a time when the resources boom is suffocating the rest of the Australian economy”.
“The deal will encourage Chinese companies to plunder mineral resources — and no doubt massive profits — from our State,” he said.
Ludlam said it was also troubling that the deal had clauses stating all information that was exchanged would be treated as confidential.
But Barnett said the deal would boost trade and investment in the country, and told Farifax radio WA had “hitched its rail cart to China”.
He said the deal had been struck in part over China’s frustrations with Canberra over the mining tax.