House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Australia-United States Relationship

2:02 pm

Photo of Celia HammondCelia Hammond (Curtin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on the importance of the Australia-US relationship and how the further deepening of our alliance will provide greater certainty and stability in the region, and aid our continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?

2:03 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for her question. This was a very warm and engaging call that I was able to share today with President Biden. That is something I'm sure that all members of this House would welcome, given the importance of the Australia-US alliance. I also thank the Leader of the Opposition for his courtesy today, which enabled me to have that call uninterrupted by the various divisions in parliament. I thank the Leader of the Opposition.

The relationship we spoke of today that both the President and I steward—as prime ministers and presidents have done, particularly over these last 70 years of the ANZUS relationship, from all sides of politics—is one that the President described as 'the anchor for peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific, both now and into the future'. That is very true. Today we were able to once again affirm our commitment to that all-important alliance, not just for Australia's security, not just for peace in the region—all of this so essential—but for the ongoing prosperity of our peoples, both here and in the United States. We affirmed our commitment to the many ways we work that relationship, whether it be defence and security or intelligence, but particularly through our multilateral engagements—whether it be through the Quad, whether it be through the Five Eyes relationship, whether it be, indeed, through the G7+ dialogue that is becoming larger, or in the many other forums in which we engage, working together on the COVID response, the economic recovery, in both countries and around the world and on global and regional security, here amongst our ASEAN partners and the Pacific nations of our region, with whom I engaged yesterday and the day before; the multilateral institutions and the reforms, whether it's at the World Trade Organization or so many other places—working together, as liberal market democracies, to advance our shared world view as to how the world will recover from this pandemic. And achieving a net zero technology pathway is what we discussed, understanding that technology was the way to achieve this in the many partnerships we can engage in together to advance that technology agenda that will be transformational.

The Biden administration's technology outlook, when it comes to reducing emissions and doing so in a way that preserves jobs, is shared by this government, and it overlaps, and that's what was said during the campaign, and it is now what we're realising, and I look forward to doing this. But ultimately, Australia's relationship with the United States is a sovereign one, and it's one that looks to the United States, definitely, but it's never one that leaves it to the United States. Our relationship with the United States is one of an equal partnership, of shared views, and one that has had a profound positive influence on the peace and stability and prosperity of our region.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The Leader of the Opposition?

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, just briefly, on indulgence: on behalf of this side of the House, we very much welcome the election of President Biden and his administration and we look forward to a strengthening of the relationship between our two great democracies.