Defence relationships in the Pacific to be re-examined in new Parliamentary hearings

Issue date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020

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Australia’s Defence relationship with Pacific Island nations will be re-examined in the context of the Pacific Step-up as two days of public hearings get underway in Canberra. The Defence Sub-committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will hear from academics, Government Departments and Non-Government Agencies across the two days to help explore how far Australia’s activities correspond to the needs of our partner nations in the Pacific and how they might be better co-ordinated.

Sub-Committee Chair Andrew Wallace says the public hearings are an important opportunity to build on the evidence already received through written submissions and will help the Sub-Committee make a real contribution to understanding the effectiveness of Australia’s defence engagement with the region at a complex time.

‘This is a chance for us to hear in more depth from some of the best-informed experts in the field. In addition to the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Defence, we are looking forward to hearing from academic witnesses from institutions including the Australian National University and Western Sydney University,’ Mr Wallace said.

‘Combined with the evidence we have already received from Governments including those of Tonga, New Zealand and the Philippines, and the information we have from agencies on the ground, I believe this Sub-Committee will have all the insight we need to help the Government to make the most of Australia’s defence work with our Pacific partners.’

Further details about the about the inquiry, including terms of reference, details on how to contribute a submission and, when available, details of public hearings and roundtable discussions, can also be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Public hearing details

Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Time: 8.50am to 4:30pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra.

Date: Thursday 16 July 2020
Time: 9:00am to 2:00pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra.

The hearings will be audio streamed live at

Media inquiries

Andrew Wallace, Chair, Defence Sub-Committee
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Contact: Simon Thwaites
0439 972 667

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 2313

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