Of course, it’s not just Gerard Rennick who has people talking about the class of 2019. There is also Gladys Liu after her interview with Andrew Bolt on Sky News overnight, following up this ABC story.
It opened with this:
Bolt: Joining me is Liberal MP Gladys Liu. Gladys, thank you so much for your time. Can I just start, were you on the committee of two chapters of the China Overseas Guangdong Exchange Association, one in Guangdong from 2003-2015 and the other in Shandong?
Liu: Well, good to be that with you, Andrew. I can tell you that I cannot recall, if as is reported that from 2003-2015, 12 years long, that if I can’t recall, I can’t be an active member of that council, can I?
Bolt: How can you not recall a membership of 12 years? I mean we have just shown your name listed there. I’ve got another document I can show other you, of your name listed in the other association. That is two associations, associations lasting, well, 12 years and you can’t recall it?
Liu: Well, I can tell you that I have never been a member of this council and, yeah, it can happen. They can put your name there without your knowledge.
And didn’t get much better.
Liu would also not say whether or not she believed China’s actions in the South China Sea were unlawful. Australia has officially condemned China’s actions.
Bolt: Can I just hear you say it, that you support the Australian government’s position that the theft of the South China Sea by China is unlawful? Is it unlawful, yes or sure no?
Liu: Well, as I said, I want to make sure that Australians interests were put first and foremost and if it’s going to affect our trade or our air travelling, then that is something that I would not support.
Bolt: Well, in fact, it does affect our trade, 60% of it goes through that sea. We have been warned by China to stay away. We are thinking of challenging that with our navy, and you are here not able to actually support the government’s position that it was unlawful. Is there some problem with you agreeing that it was unlawful? It has been held so under international law. Why are you not going along with that?
Liu: Well, I never said that I’m not going along with it. What I’m saying is I always put Australia’s interests first. After all, I am a member of parliament for the Australian government and so of course I will put Australia’s interests first and whatever – as I said in my maiden speech too, I will always want to have a good relationship between Australia and China and I will put Australia’s interests first.
Before revelations former Labor senator Sam Dastyari had warned a donor he may be under surveillance by security agencies, the government had called for his sacking after reports he contradicted Labor – and the government’s – position on the dispute. A recording eventually confirmed the report.