Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles departs today on a visit to Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Tonga.
In Cook Islands, Mr Marles will meet new Prime Minister Henry Puna and members of his Cabinet to discuss regional issues and Australia’s aid program.
“I very much look forward to my visit to Cook Islands on March 7 and 8 (local time),” Mr Marles said.
“One of the issues for discussion will be climate change and Australia’s contribution to a regional program aimed at coastal zone management.
“I will attend a breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day and also have the opportunity to see first-hand how Cook Islands is recovering from the devastation caused by Cyclone Pat early last year.
“The support provided by Australia is a powerful example of the way regional neighbours help each other in the face of natural disasters.”
When Mr Marles returns to Australia on 11 March he will have visited every member and associate member of the Pacific Islands Forum as Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs.
“Australia is committed to engaging comprehensively with its Pacific neighbours”, Mr Marles said.
“It’s been a priority for me to get out and make early contact with leaders right across the region.”
- Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (02) 6277 4330
- Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555