Senate debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Questions without Notice

High Commissioner to Singapore

2:40 pm

Photo of Marise PayneMarise Payne (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I am very pleased to acknowledge the strong service of former high commissioners for Singapore that Senator Lambie has been kind enough to read into the Hansard record. In fact, I will acknowledge Mr Bruce Gosper, the incumbent high commissioner in Singapore. He and his team have been doing an exceptional job in the context of COVID-19 challenge in particular, including supporting my most recent visit to Singapore, which is one of the very few international visits that we have been able to make as a government in the context of COVID-19.

I will assume Senator Lambie's question, notwithstanding her humour, goes to the appointment of the former Premier of Tasmania, Mr Will Hodgman. Mr Hodgman is a highly qualified, very appropriate appointment to be Australia's High Commissioner to Singapore—one of the most important regional partners, a key member of ASEAN, a country with whom we have a very important strategic partnership and a digital engagement that is one of the most significant that Australia has undertaken in recent years. What former Premier Hodgman will bring to this role is a view of Australia as a key partner in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in ASEAN and particularly with Singapore. He is well known for putting Tasmania on the world stage, putting Australia first in everything that he does. He is eminently well qualified. I look forward to working with him into the future as he leads Australia's representation in Singapore. It will be welcomed by Prime Minister Lee and it will be welcomed by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. It is a recognition of the important relationship we have with Singapore. (Time expired)


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