Joint media release with:
- Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs
- The Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and The Pacific, Minister for Defence Industry
- The Hon Michael Mccormack MP, Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific
This week we will travel to Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Palau on the first bipartisan visit to Pacific island countries since 2019.
As a member of the Pacific family, Australia’s commitment to working with Pacific partners to achieve our shared aspirations and address our shared challenges is bipartisan.
We will meet Vanuatu Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau, FSM President David W. Panuelo and Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr., to discuss their nations’ development objectives, the existential threat of climate change, and key regional security issues.
On the trip, we will also meet with traditional leaders to listen and learn about their priorities and discuss the Australian Government’s efforts to embed First Nation’s perspectives, experiences and interests into our international engagement.
In Vanuatu, we look forward to the official handover ceremony for the newly-constructed Mala Base Wharf and police boat RVS Mataweli, as part of Australia’s enduring cooperation on shared regional security interests.
We will also meet with ni-Vanuatu entrepreneurs who have participated in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme and returned home to invest their earnings, put new skills to work and contribute to local economic growth.
In FSM we will mark 35 years of diplomatic relations, building on decades of cooperation in the Blue Pacific. We will visit an elementary school to see the positive support Australia provides for FSM’s education sector.
In Palau, we look forward to formally launching Tamanu and Tupaia; the digitisation of clinical patient information and data. We will visit a solar project supported by the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific.
Australia is committed to working with our Pacific partners to achieve our shared vision for a peaceful, prosperous and resilient region.
Quote attributable to Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong:
“I am pleased we are delivering on the Albanese Government’s promise to reinstate bipartisan parliamentary delegation visits, demonstrating Australia’s enduring commitment to strengthening our Pacific partnerships and addressing regional challenges.”
Quote attributable to Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Pat Conroy MP:
“We are committed to listening and learning from the Pacific family, ensuring Pacific priorities are at the forefront of our engagement and that our partnerships meet genuine needs and deliver long-term benefits.”
Quote attributable to Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham:
“This is a welcome opportunity to again demonstrate that Australia’s engagement with our Pacific neighbours is of the highest priority and transcends domestic politics. With genuine challenges facing our region I look forward to listening and learning from Pacific leaders and communities, while also seeing some of the results of Australia’s partnerships with them.”
Quote attributable to Shadow Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Michael McCormack:
“This bi-partisan trip reaffirms to the Pacific that regardless of who is in Government in Australia, our collective priority is working collaboratively with our neighbours to secure the best outcome for our region.”