Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan is “not responsible” for looking after Australia’s defense and foreign interests – he and Peter Dutton are.
Prime Minister Scott Morrsion has dismissed Mark McGowan’s attack on Defense Minister Peter Dutton, adding the Western Australia Premier is not responsible for looking after the country’s defense and foreign interests.
It comes after Mr McGowan launched an attack on Mr Dutton over his “grossly irresponsible” and “nutty” approach to diplomacy with China.
Mr McGowan announced a $5.7 billion surplus was largely attributed to the mining industry and his trade with China, adding he did not understand why Mr Dutton would talk about a “frightening” war with Beijing.
Stream more Australian news with Flash. 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends 31 October, 2022
“Now I’ve discussed these matters with Mark on many occasions, I work closely with Mark McGowan, we know each other well,” Mr Morrison said when pressed about his remarks.
“But Mark has always said in these circumstances that he understands that it is a Commonwealth responsibility to deal with these issues.
“The Premier of Western Australia is not responsible for looking after our defense, and our foreign interests.
“Well he’s entitled to his views but he’s not responsible for Australia’s defense and national security – Peter Dutton and I are.
“And Australians expect us to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep Australians safe, to keep a close eye on these issues and be always preparing.”
Mr Morrison added the government is “keeping a very close eye” on the Chinese PLA Navy intelligence spy ship, which has been detected along the Western Australia coastline.
“So while this particular voyage… is something we are keeping a very close eye on,” Mr Morrison said.
“It is just a reminder of the times in which we live and why it’s very very important that we continue to keep a very strong approach when it comes to boosting up our defense forces, boosting up our capabilities to deal with these types of threats and at the same time working with our partners and allies.”