Response to The Australian article about Huawei
Today The Australian carries a story by Cameron Stewart stating that I was briefed by ASIO about the Government’s decision to ban Huawei from participating in the NBN project on national security grounds.
The Australian suggests that this is at odds with my comment “Having said that, we have not been privy to the security intelligence advice that the government has had. We will review that decision in the light of all the advice in the event of us coming into government. That’s as far as I can go.”
I have not hitherto publicly confirmed or denied that I have been briefed by ASIO but I note Julie Bishop has confirmed she was briefed by ASIO and as it happens I was present at the same briefing.
ASIO did not provide us with the full advice it had given to the Government. This was not surprising. Opposition briefings are very rarely, if ever, as complete as those given to the Government of the day and as a consequence the responsible approach for us to take was simply to state that if we formed a Government we would review the decision in the light of the complete advice and intelligence material that is inevitably only available to the Government of the day.