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28 August: The Week in Australian Foreign Policy

28 Aug 2020
By Isabella Keith
Parliament House At Dusk, Canberra ACT Source: Thennicke

This week in Australian foreign affairs: Australia’s support of the Gavi COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment, new visa arrangements for Hong Kong passport holders, and more.

On 20 August, Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne announced that Australia will support the Gavi COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) “to improve access for Pacific and Southeast Asian countries to safe, effective and affordable COVID-19 vaccines.” Australia has contributed $80 million to COVAX AMC to help secure COVID-19 vaccines for Pacific Island and Southeast Asian countries.

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong welcomed the Government’s support for the COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment, but also said that Labor “calls on Scott Morrison to make clear what existing lifesaving programs he plans to cut in order to fund the $80 million investment.”

On 21 August, Payne announced a new agreement which will enable Australian farmers and regional businesses to recruit workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste through the resumption of the Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme.

On 26 August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Defence Melissa Price announced a $1 billion investment package to boost Australia’s defence industry.

On 21 August, Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge announced that the new visa arrangements for Hong Kong students, temporary graduates and skilled workers had come into effect.

Isabella Keith is an intern at AIIA National Office.

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