West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has announced he plans to travel to China next month to discuss direct flights from Perth to Guangzhou.
The revelation comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese named Western Australia as one of the locations that would score a share of the 20,000 jobs forecast in the AUKUS submarine-building project.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is on his way to the US, ahead of a special meeting on the AUKUS submarine deal
On Sunday, the Premier confirmed reports in overseas media that he will be travelling to Beijing and Guangzhou in April to discuss tourism development and plans for the direct Perth-Guangzhou flights.
“It obviously needs approval from the Chinese authorities but that’s the plan [direct flights],” he told reporters in Perth.
“I’d head over there in April … a little bit later than mid-April. But that’s the plan – reinstating direct flights and making sure that the relationship, particularly in relation to our major export industries, remains strong.”
McGowan said he had also been briefed on the AUKUS project as Albanese arrived in the US on Saturday for talks on the submarine agreement. The Premier said more details would be announced soon.
“I’ve been briefed by the federal Defence Minister and also by some of the senior uniformed officers,” he said.
“And obviously, they’ll be making announcements during the course of the week. I’m actually not able to comment any further at the moment.”
Asked if he expected to be quizzed on the submarines agreement by Chinese officials during the April visit, the Premier remained coy but said he would be fully prepared for the meeting.
“I don’t know if they’ll ask me… I’ll wait and see when I get there,” he said.
“I’ll make sure I’m fully briefed before I get there.”
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has estimated the submarine project could cost as much as $170 billion.
Source : WAToday