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Morrison must apologise to wine growers for diplomatic errors

Media Release
Adam Bandt 4 Dec 2020

The Greens have today called on Scott Morrison to apologise to Australia’s wine growers and other producers, saying Morrison’s mistaken decision to align himself so closely with Donald Trump has contributed to rising tensions with the Chinese government.

With the Prime Minister now on the defensive, it appears that Morrison is starting to acknowledge his approach has failed. 

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:

“Scott Morrison tied Australia up in Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and now Australia is paying the price,” Mr Bandt said.

“Instead of acting in Australia’s interest, Scott Morrison decided to follow Donald Trump, parroting his lines and doing his bidding.

“Scott Morrison should apologise to Australia’s wine growers and other producers for his foreign policy blunder.

“The Prime Minister’s decision to join the Chinese government in ratcheting up the nationalistic fervour is a terrible strategy with no discernible endgame.

“I note that Scott Morrison appears to be backing down, softening his language. It’s good to see this implicit admission of error, but it’s little relief for the people who have seen their livelihoods threatened.”

Lines from Australian Greens Foreign Relations spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice:

“Scott Morrison has made misstep after misstep in his handling of Australia’s relationship with China," Senator Rice said.

“The Prime Minister has a history of putting nationalistic fervour ahead of diplomacy and inflaming existing tensions, often in lock-step with Trump. 

“He soft-pedals on human rights issues but then issues aggressive ultimatums on fake images that are best quickly condemned and left to Twitter history.

“The Prime Minister needs to apologise to Australian wine producers and farmers for the impacts on them when he plays up nationalistic rhetoric to appeal to his domestic audience. 

“Scott Morrison needs to focus on real diplomatic action that gets results for those Australian producers that are struggling because of this ongoing and escalating dispute.

“We can and must speak out about the human rights abuses of the Chinese government  and their attacks on democracy in Hong Kong.  But our influence over human rights issues is diminished when Morrison engages in a Twitter war and throws strategy out the window. 

“This is now a multi-day story over a tweet that was focussed on Australia’s war crimes. The Prime Minister would do well to show even an ounce of the anger and outrage over the war crimes Australian forces have committed as he’s shown over an offensive image.

“We need to focus on the victims in Afghanistan, on holding those responsible to account, and on ensuring Australian forces are never again involved in war crimes.”

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