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Unis, states under the microscope as Commonwealth targets foreign interference

Australia will crackdown on foreign interference with new laws aimed at preventing Chinese influence in Australia. 

The new laws will allow the Australian foreign minister to cancel agreements that states, territories, local governments and universities have made with an overseas government if they aren’t in Australia’s national interest.

The Foreign Relations Bill will be introduced to parliament next week and could threaten Victoria’s Belt and Road deal.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham told Ben Fordham the federal government will oversee all deals.

“Existing agreements will also have to be submitted onto a register so that they can be checked as well.”

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Foreign Minister Marise Payne told Ben Fordham there are 135 deals between states and foreign countries.

“They’ll all be included in the stocktake.”

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Image: Getty/Tracey Nearmy

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