Australia’s relationships with the Pacific Islands — Roundtable hearings in Canberra

Issue date: Wednesday, 17 June 2020

House of Representatives media release header

The Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will tomorrow hold its first roundtable public hearing for the inquiry into strengthening Australia’s relationships with the Pacific Islands.

On 18 June the Committee will hear from seven experts with backgrounds in development assistance in the Pacific, including Caritas Australia, UnitingWorld, RESULTS International, UN-PRAC Project and the WASH Reference Group. A second roundtable hearing, with seven prominent academics will follow on 19 June.

The Sub-Committee was tasked to inquire into how Australia could meet current and emerging opportunities and challenges facing the Pacific island region.

Sub-Committee Chair Mr Dave Sharma said “Australia’s relationship with its Pacific neighbours is fundamentally important to Australia’s future. Our fates are intertwined.”

“We have a long history of working constructively with our neighbours, including during times of adversity and challenge. Australia will be especially keen to help Pacific island states manage the health impacts of COVID-19 and recover from the economic impacts, and I expect this will be a large focus of the inquiry.”

Public hearing details:

Date: Thursday 18 June, 2020
Time: 8.00 am to 9.30 am
Location: Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra

Date: Friday 19 June, 2020
Time: 8.30 am to 10.30 am
Location: Committee Room 1R4, Parliament House, Canberra

The hearings will be audio streamed live at

The Sub-Committee has welcomed 38 submissions to date, acknowledging that many submissions have been thoughtfully prepared under adverse conditions. The Committee is still keen to hear views from within Pacific island countries, individuals who have participated in labour mobility schemes, and those who have settled permanently in Australia, amongst others.

Further details about the inquiry, including terms of reference, contributing a submission and details of public hearings, can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Media enquiries:

Mr Dave Sharma MP, Sub-Committee Chair
Contact Miss Natalie Hissey
(02) 9327 3988

For background:

Committee Secretariat
(02) 6277 2313

House of Representatives media release header