Strengthening Australia’s relationships with the Pacific – report published

Issue date: Thursday, 31 March 2022

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The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade presented its report into Strengthening Australia’s relationships with countries in the Pacific region in the Senate yesterday.

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee, Mr Dave Sharma MP stated, 'This Report seeks to build upon the success of the Pacific Step-up and identify further prospective areas for deepening and strengthening Australia’s engagement in the Pacific.'

'At a time of intensifying geopolitical competition and growing global challenges, especially that of climate change, fostering and strengthening Australia’s relationships with the Pacific has assumed a new importance and urgency.'

The Committee made several recommendations, including:

  • that Australia lead a large-scale, multi-year post-COVID-19 aid and recovery package;
  • that Australia builds upon labour mobility schemes to provide better career development options and permanent residency pathways;
  • that support for climate change mitigation and adaptation be a high priority in Australia’s immediate regional assistance program;
  • that the Federal Court of Australia’s judicial capacity-building programs in the Pacific continue to be supported;
  • the creation of a dedicated Pacific component to Australia’s permanent migration intake, akin to the New Zealand model;
  • expanding Australia’s media and broadcasting footprint in the Pacific, recognising this is a key element of soft power; and
  • exploring ambitious proposals for deeper integration, such as a long-term compact of free association

Further information about the inquiry, including the report, submissions, transcripts, and responses to questions on notice, can be found on the Committee’s website.

Media enquiries

Office of Mr Dave Sharma MP
Chair, Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee
02 9327 3988

For background information

Committee Secretariat
02 6277 2313

For more information about this Committee, you can visit its website. On the site, you can make a submission to an inquiry, read other submissions, and get details for upcoming public hearings. You can also track the Committee and receive email updates by clicking on the blue ‘Track Committee’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the page.

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