Visiting Australian Parliamentary delegation focused on good governance and law enforcement cooperation
29 January 2013
A delegation of Australian Senators and Members of Parliament, comprising members of the Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, will visit Manila this week. The delegation will attend the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians against Corruption (GOPAC) Conference, hosted by the Philippines.
The delegation leader, Ms Melissa Parke MP, said “We greatly appreciate the opportunity the Philippines is providing by hosting the GOPAC conference. We recognise the importance of sharing ideas about how to tackle corruption and how to strengthen the integrity regimes which underpin good government.”
During its visit, the delegation will meet with Australian Embassy officials, including those from the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Both agencies work closely with their Philippine counterparts to build capacity in law enforcement and governance respectively. The delegation will also visit the Philippine National Police Bomb Data Center and Explosives Laboratory, developed with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police.
Australian Ambassador, Bill Tweddell, said “We are very pleased to have a Parliamentary delegation in Manila at a time when the relationship between the Philippines and Australia is in such a good state. The visit will also shine a light on some of the good work that Australian agencies in the Philippines have been doing – work that aligns closely with President Aquino’s governance reforms.”
Support for strong economic governance underpins Australia’s aid program in the Philippines. For example, Australia will contribute A$30 million (PHP 1.4 billion) over five years to assist budget and expenditure management reforms under the Philippines’ Public Financial Management Reform Roadmap. Australia is also working to help improve governance and support ambitious reform in the education sector.
Since opening its Manila office within the Australian Embassy in 1984, the Australian Federal Police has worked closely with Philippine law enforcement agencies, providing training, technical equipment and support to investigations. Its work is targeted particularly at combatting transnational crime, including terrorism.
Other members of the visiting Australian Parliamentary delegation include Senator Michaelia Cash (Senator for Western Australia), Senator Stephen Parry (Senator for Tasmania), Mr Chris Hayes MP (Member for Fowler, New South Wales), Mr Russell-Matheson MP (Member for Macarthur, New South Wales) and Ms Fiona Bowring-Greer (Delegation Secretary).