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Monday, 22 June 2009
Page: 3971

Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 21 May 2009:

With reference to the Deputy Prime Minister’s trip to the United States of America, Great Britain and Singapore between 21 June and 5 July 2008: (a) who accompanied the Deputy Prime Minister; (b) who did the Deputy Prime Minister meet in Great Britain and Singapore; (c) what was the purpose of each of these meetings; (d) where did each of these meetings occur; and (e) who attended each of these meetings.

Senator Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) —The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(a)   The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by: Mr Ben Hubbard, Chief of Staff Ms Kimberley Gardiner, Media Adviser Mr Tim Mathieson Ms Lisa Paul, Secretary, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

(b)   The Deputy Prime Minister met with:

In Great Britain

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs - The Rt Hon David Miliband MP

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions - The Rt Hon James Purnell MP

Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills - The Rt Hon John Denham MP

Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families - The Rt Hon Ed Balls MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools and Learners - The Rt Hon The Lord Adonis

Shadow Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills - Mr David Willetts MP

Chairman of the Centre for Social Justice - The Rt Hon Ian Duncan Smith MP

Meetings were held with the Centre for Economic & Social Inclusion, the National College for School Leadership, the Centre for Social Justice, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, the office for Standards in Education (Schools Inspectorate), the Work Foundation and the Young Foundation.

The Deputy Prime Minister was hosted by the City of London where she made an address.

The Deputy Prime Minister attended a function hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (UK Branch).

The Deputy Prime Minister attended a dinner hosted by the Acting High Commissioner.

Site visits were conducted to Oaklands School, Bethnal Green and Tower Hamlets Summer University program.

In Singapore

Prime Minister - Mr Lee Hsien Loong

Minister for Education - Dr Ng Eng Hen

Deputy Prime Minister - Professor S Jayakumar

Minister for Finance - Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam

Minister for Law - Mr K Shanmugam

- The Deputy Prime Minister addressed a breakfast function hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Singapore. Some 120 guests attended.

- The Deputy Prime Minister opened the NAIDOC Week Australian indigenous exhibition at the High Commission.

(c)   The Deputy Prime Minister’s visit to Great Britain afforded opportunities for bilateral engagement with the United Kingdom Government, agencies and NGOs on comparative education, employment and social inclusion agendas. The visit provided an opportunity to outline the Australian Government’s productivity, participation and human capital development agenda to a broad audience. The visit to Singapore served to demonstrate to the Singapore Government the importance that the Australian Government places on relations with Singapore.

(d)   The meetings took place in London and Singapore.

(e)   In Great Britain the Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by Mr Ben Hubbard (Chief of Staff), Ms Lisa Paul PSM (Secretary, DEEWR), Ms Kimberley Gardiner (Media Adviser) and Katherine Campbell (Counsellor Education, Brussels). From the Australian High Commission in London, the Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by either Acting High Commissioner Adamson or Acting Deputy High Commissioner Philp, depending on the meeting.

In Singapore the Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied by Mr Ben Hubbard (Chief of Staff), Ms Lisa Paul (Secretary, DEEWR), Ms Kimberly Gardiner (Media Adviser), Mr Miles Kupa, (High Commissioner), Ms Kirsty Dodsworth (Third Secretary), and Mr Suhaimy Hassan, (Director - Education, AEI Singapore).