By ERWIN CHLANDA
The Federal Government has the power to knock on the head the 99 year lease the Territory Government issued over the Port of Darwin to a Chinese firm, Landbridge, which has links with the Chinese military.
Professor Rolf Gerritsen (pictured) says “the process would be regulatory powers vested to the Defence Minister [Marise Payne] under the Defence (or other) Acts.
“These have been used to prevent some Australian companies from exporting to Iran and fines were imposed on those companies that breached those official sanctions. Last year there was some media reporting on that issue.”
Prof Gerritsen is the Principal Scientist, Central Australian Research Group (CARG), Northern Institute Charles Darwin University.
In response to questions from the Alice Springs News Online he says: “The Minister has the power to override the lease if she wants to use it.
“Her power is only subject to the regulations being ratified in the Senate at its next sitting. From memory, regulations have to be ratified within six weeks of issue. So the next date upon which the Senate is sitting is relevant to this question – the Minister may not be able to issue regulations until six weeks before the next sitting, whenever that is.
“So she may be laying doggo until that date?”
The News put these questions also Ms Payne. A media adviser to her told us we can expect answers early next week.
An adviser to Chief Minister Adam Giles also said we will get replies early next week to questions on these issues we put to him early this week.