I will visit Tonga and Samoa from 11 to 14 March to further strengthen relationships with our Pacific neighbours and partners, and continue the Government’s commitment to stepping-up Australia’s engagement in the region.
In Tonga, I will see first-hand the progress achieved with Australian-funded recovery efforts in disaster-struck areas, one year on from Cyclone Gita.
During my discussions with the Tongan Government I will highlight new Australian initiatives, including the Pacific Labour Scheme.
The Scheme would provide more Tongan workers with access to income, generating opportunities whilst also helping fill labour shortages in rural and regional Australia.
I also look forward to holding discussions with the Samoan Government on the implementation of Australia’s Pacific Step-Up agenda.
During my visit to country, I will visit Samoa’s new parliament house, which was constructed with Australian support. I will also visit the construction site of an Australian-funded infrastructure project, the Lotosamasoni Bridge in Apia.
This visit will provide an opportunity to consolidate important partnerships in the Pacific, as Australia works to support a stronger and more resilient region.
When the Pacific is strong, so too is Australia.