Pacific relationships: judicial capacity building, population displacement risk and accessing Australian TV programs

Issue date: Wednesday, 2 December 2020

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An inquiry into strengthening Australia’s relationships in the Pacific island region to meet current and emerging opportunities and risks will tomorrow discuss strengthening governance frameworks, explore planning for population displacement threats and hear about the 2020 roll-out of the PacificAus TV initiative in the region.

The Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will hear from Ms Helen Burrows, head of the Federal Court of Australia’s International Program about the spin-off benefits of the program through fostering long-term judicial networks and legal capacity building in Pacific island countries. The Federal Court of Australia has been supporting programs of this kind for many years. The Committee is keen to hear more about the positive outcomes in community stability and potentially in regional security, beyond those seen in an improved legal system.

The Sub-Committee will also discuss with representatives of Free TV Australia what has been described in their submission as the successful roll-out in 2020 - despite Covid-19 impacts - of the Australian Government initiative, PacificAus TV, being delivered by Free TV. PacificAus TV has enabled seven island countries access to free broadcasting rights for some 1000+ hours of Australian content programs. The initiative enables local broadcasters to introduce programs, at no cost to them, into their broadcasting schedule from a menu of Australian content. Ms Bridget Fair, CEO of Free TV Australia and Mr Shane Wood, Project Manager, PacificAus TV will share their experience about the initiative, and how it has been received in the Pacific.

The Sub-Committee will also hear from Professor Jane McAdam, Director of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at the University of NSW.

Further details about the inquiry can be obtained from the Committee’s website.

Public hearing details

Date: Thursday 3 December 2020
Time: 11.00 am to 12.50 pm
Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra (and by teleconference)

The hearings will be video streamed live at

Media enquiries:

Dave Sharma MP, Sub-Committee Chair
Contact Natalie Hissey 
02 9327 3988 

For background:

Committee Secretariat 
02 6277 2313

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