List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that Australia builds on the Partnerships for Recovery to lead a large-scale, multi-year post-COVID-19 aid and recovery package within the Pacific islands region, focussing on transformative public investment through grants and concessional lending.

Recommendation 2

The Committee notes the growing importance of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme for skills transfer and training and as a source of remittance income, and the support for such programs amongst the Pacific. The Committee recommends the Australian Government:
pursue steps to scale-up the program, better support career development, and provide pathways for permanent residency, akin to those being developed for the Agriculture Visa Scheme; and
explicitly recognise the relationship building and cultural exchange elements of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme in its design and promotion.

Recommendation 3

The Committee acknowledges that the direct and indirect impacts of climate change remain one of the gravest concerns of Pacific nations. The Committee recommends that support for climate change mitigation and adaptation continue to be a high priority in Australia’s immediate regional assistance program.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that to enable program certainty, and retain and attract expertise, that the Australian Government consider providing a dedicated budgeted line item to the Federal Court of Australia to directly deliver the successful judicial capacity programs in the Pacific islands region.

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends the Australian Government considers creating a dedicated Pacific component within Australia’s permanent migration intake, similar to the New Zealand model.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends the Australian Government:
start dialogue with Pacific island countries about compacts of association considerations; and
evaluate bold ideas for longer term Pacific region ‘deep integration’ including the creation of a significant compact of free association with countries in the Pacific island region—in particular microstates most vulnerable to climate change instability.

Recommendation 7

The Committee notes the media environment within the Pacific is becoming more contested, and recognises Australia has a national interest in maintaining a visible and active media and broadcasting presence there. The Committee recommends the Australian Government considers steps necessary to expand Australia’s media footprint in the Pacific, including through:
expanding the provision of Australian public and commercial television and digital content across the Pacific, noting existing efforts by the PacificAus TV initiative and Pacific Australia;
reinvigorating Radio Australia, which is well regarded in the region, to boost its digital appeal; and
consider governance arrangements for an Australian International Media Corporation to formulate and oversee the strategic direction of Australia’s international media presence in the Pacific.

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