Australian Conservatives leader and South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi will try for a second time today to get government support for his motion to publish Clive Hamilton's book on China, “Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a puppet state”.
Despite the federal government refusing to back a motion from Senator Bernardi last November to publish the book, key members of Federal Parliament’s national security committee are now backing a move to use the committee’s powers to publish the work on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia.
Two major publishers dropped the manuscript, last year citing fears Beijing or its proxies would launch legal action.
By receiving the manuscript of the book as an exhibit, the committee has retained a power to publish it as a submission which would grant it the parliamentary power of qualified privileged.
This would prevent the author from being sued, and protects others, including journalists, who re-publish the contents of the book.