Page 918 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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Motion to take note of petition

MADAM SPEAKER: Pursuant to standing order 98A, I propose the question:

That the response so lodged be noted.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Chief Minister—New Zealand and Fiji trade mission

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Climate Action, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism) (10.48): I am pleased to report to the Assembly on the trade mission to New Zealand and Fiji at the end of October and the beginning of November last year. New Zealand is identified as one of Canberra’s key markets in our international engagement strategy, and the Pacific is also a priority market in the updated strategy that I released in December.

The trade mission was a brief one, from 26 October to 1 November 2022. The purpose of the mission was to renew existing relationships, as well as to further government-to-government relations, two-way trade and business, and to grow tourism and to re-establish aviation links.

We started in New Zealand, and I had the great pleasure of attending a ceremony for the inauguration of the new Mayor of Wellington, Ms Tory Whanau. We were able to renew our friendships with three previous mayors of the city. The following day we engaged with the new mayor. We look forward to furthering our Sister City agreement and a number of the upcoming activities covered by that agreement.

Both Canberra and Wellington have very strong areas of focus on climate change, rebuilding infrastructure and post-COVID recovery community development and inclusion. This included discussions on, amongst other things, light rail. On rebuilding and growing economies, the discussion there canvassed economic sectors, including cyber, space, the arts, technology and advanced manufacturing. We also discussed a range of community development and inclusion issues. We agreed to work closely to re-establish direct air connections between our two cities, as well as discussing activities that can be held in each city. I have invited the new mayor to visit Canberra to continue the discussion and to share information.

In the economic development area, we met with the CEO of WellingtonNZ. The discussion focused on Pacific engagement and a joint approach to direct flights. Areas of interest included health, innovation, cultural activities, renewable energy, the food and beverage trade, education and students, as well as female empowerment and participation in business.

Our Australian High Commissioner, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, hosted a lunch at her residence, where we discussed the objectives of the trade mission.
I thank our host, our High Commissioner, for her support and look forward to
further engagement.

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