15 October 2015 - Australianbureaucrat Defence Secretary Richardson [first?] discussed the matter face-to-face with US Deputy Secretary of Defence, Robert Work, in Washington DC. This is according to Defence Minister Marise Payne.
So it appears the US was told after the sale - and then as a courtesy.
- Malcolm Turnbull's statements on Darwin port questioned
- PM previously claimed port was not used by military, but facility is advertised as catering to "frequent naval visits"
- NT Government has leased port to Chinese-owned company
- The Northern Territory Government sparked international controversy last month when it decided to lease the Port of Darwin facilities to a Chinese-owned company.