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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11497


Mr GOSLING (Solomon) (16:27): Darwin is Australia's gateway to Asia and the growing markets there. For Darwin, Indonesia offers great opportunities. It's obvious that people in the Territory want to see further connectivity between Darwin and eastern Indonesia. We want to see more flights and more competition on the Bali route. We also want to see flight routes opened up into west Timor and a place called Kupang. Earlier this year I led an ALI delegation to Jakarta. We met with a number of Indonesian political parties. Our host asked us to look beyond Bali into eastern Indonesia in particular. I have travelled throughout Flores to Labuan Bajo—the diving there is incredible—and west Timor near Kupang and to an island called Rote, where there's incredible surfing. I know the beauty of eastern Indonesia and the opportunities that are presented.

It was great to meet with former foreign minister Marty Natalegawa in Jakarta and also great to meet with him today in Parliament House, where we continued our discussions around the need for greater connectivity between Northern Australia, particularly Darwin, and eastern Indonesia. There are entrepreneurs both in Indonesia and Darwin ready to jump on the opportunities that exist. I want to acknowledge some of them—Tony Haritos and Carmel Bates. Their passion has already seen great connections with Timor-Leste and will see great connections with Kupang and eastern Indonesia.