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Friday 2 July 2021

Hon. Larry Anthony, Director

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Communist Party in China (CCP).

It's been a remarkable journey for China, which is now the Australia biggest export market and our largest source of imports.  It’s also our largest source of anxiety on many fronts for Australia.

So it was ironic this week that we also saw the most significant wealth generation portfolio in the government – Resources - demoted to the outer cabinet. It is a sector that contributed more than $318 billion in revenue to the Australian economy last financial year alone. The vast majority of these resource commodities - Iron Ore, gas, base metals and coal (through backdoor channels in neighbouring countries) are shipped to China, the centralised State of the CCP.

The downgrading of the Resources portfolio occurred after the leadership change in the Nationals, which saw Michael McCormack deposed by former Leader Barnaby Joyce. This was a significant event for the National Party and the Coalition Government, changing not just personalities but the balance of power and decision-making process around the Cabinet table.

The decision to move Resources out of Cabinet was a demotion for Minister Keith Pitt, not because of ability but because of raw politics. Other MPs had to be rewarded with Cabinet posts for changing their vote to support Mr Joyce. On a brighter note, we also saw Senator Bridget McKenzie return to the front bench from her self-imposed exile after the sports scandal last year.

As the nation endures another lockdown from the East Coast to West, we should be thankful for a buoyant resource sector surging on the back of rising commodity prices that helps offset the economic carnage caused by Covid lockdowns. Demoting Resources out of cabinet was odd, particularly at time where the resource voice is needed more than ever around the Cabinet table to keep balance and common sense from the far-left climate change zealots.

In other news this week the Minister for Industry Christian Porter released the second tranche of the Modern Manufacturing Plan aimed at supporting sovereign manufacturing capacity and reducing our reliance on critical supply chains from China.

It was pleasing to note the efforts of the SAS Group team in ensuring two of our clients’ activities have been recognised as critical sectors in the first tranche, and are thus eligible to be considered for grants.

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