Supplied  Surgical masks at Perth Airport Picture: Candace Sutton
Supplied Surgical masks at Perth Airport Picture: Candace Sutton

90 tonnes of medical supplies shipped to China

Exclusive video taken at Perth airport shows bulk surgical masks being airfreighted to China last month as it is revealed a Chinese company sent 90 tonnes of Australian supplies to Wuhan.

The video obtained by news.com.au shows the China-bound boxes of surgical masks stacked up at Perth airport on February 8.

News.com.au can reveal the 90-tonne export of our supplies was made by a second Australia-based Chinese property company, on top of yesterday's revelation of the bulk shipping of hand sanitiser, gloves and masks by a Chinese government-owned company, Greenland.

Global property giant Greenland develops luxury ultra-high rise blocks in Australia, and bought up and shipped off thousands of Australian medical supplies to China.

This was done after Greenland's Australian staff were deployed from normal HR and management duties to go out shopping for masks, sanitiser, thermometers and gloves to be sent to Wuhan.

News.com.au has now learnt even more supplies - vitally needed by Australian doctors and nurses in the coronavirus outbreak - have been sent to China by other exporters.

An online post and photograph obtained by news.com.au shows Chinese-owned Risland Australia, boasted online last month that "90 tons (sic) of selective medical supplies" were sent "air transport direct from Sydney to Wuhan via corporate jet".

Dozens of boxes of surgical masks at Perth Airport on February 8 being assembled to airfreight off to China.
Dozens of boxes of surgical masks at Perth Airport on February 8 being assembled to airfreight off to China.

The Perth Airport video shows boxes of surgical masks stacked up at Perth Airport on February 7 ready for airfreight to China in a post on social media by a person linked to Risland.

A photo with the Risland post shows four workers holding up a Chinese sign inside a warehouse packed high with thousands of boxes of protective clothing.

The post said Risland "undertake such a campaign to show our faiths to Wuhan people and our ultimate appreciation to those who work days and nights and fight against the virus at the front line".

Risland is a residential property developer, formerly known as Country Garden Australia, and is not Chinese-government owned and so not restricted in shipping off supplies.

News.com.au asked the office of the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg if he was aware of the bulk export by these companies or others of Australian supplies to China in January and February.

A senior foreign investment legal adviser has told news.com.au that because Greenland Australia is partially owned by the Chinese government it would need Mr Frydenberg's permission to export the supplies.

"Greenland is a property developer and comes under Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) regulations as a 'foreign government investor', the lawyer said.

"You can't just go into a new business as a medical supplier … use the resources coming from your business to do that activity."

He said "there are no loopholes" in the FIRB regulations to allow for medical emergencies or global pandemics.

Mr Frydenberg did not give direct responses on Friday afternoon to questions about Greenland and Risland's exports.

Instead, his office referred news.com.au to the Prime Minister's statement about that people engaged in profiteering from medical supplies and personal protection equipment would be seized "at the border".

Greenland, which manages high-end real estate projects in Sydney and Melbourne, proactively drained Australian supplies of anti-coronavirus equipment, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Three million surgical masks, 500,000 pairs of gloves and bulk supplies of sanitiser and antibacterial wipes were bought up in Australia and other countries where Greenland operates.

Boxes stacked in a Risland Australia warehouse of medical supplies airfreighted direct to Wuhan.
Boxes stacked in a Risland Australia warehouse of medical supplies airfreighted direct to Wuhan.


The goods shipped in bulk to China include the very items that have been in short supply for Australian citizens as well as health professionals.

They were accumulated at Greenland's Sydney headquarters and sent to China over weeks in January and February.

As coronavirus locked down Wuhan, the global Fortune 500 company put its normal work on hold and instructed staff in Australia, Canada, Turkey and elsewhere to source supplies.

Pallet loads of items including thermometers and 700,000 hazmat suits were sent to China, the Herald reported.

Greenland deployed its HR staff members, contract managers and others away from their desks to go out and amass as many of the items as possible.

It was reported Greenland's Australian managing director Sherwood Luo even posted about it on social media.

Mr Frydenberg's office referred to Mr Morrison's statement this week saying "we'll be able to seize at the border those who've engaged in profiteering by bringing together and making large purposes of various supplies in Australia and seeking to export them overseas.

"We have been able to seize at the border … quantities of materials that were seeking to be sent overseas and that is not helping Australia. .

"There'll be penalties in enforcement and we'll be able to seize those, that equipment and that can include medical supplies and include personal protective equipment and that will be seized and redeployed to it's best use here in Australia."

News.com.au has requested responses about the shipments from both Greenland Australia and Risland Australia.

candace.sutton@news.com.au

Originally published as 90 tonnes of supplies shipped to China

Risland Australia shipped 90 tonnes of Australian medical supplies direct to Wuhan last month.
Risland Australia shipped 90 tonnes of Australian medical supplies direct to Wuhan last month.


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