The UK’s Indo-Pacific Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan starts a visit in Australia today (Sunday 27 November – Canberra) in her first trip to the country in her new role, focused on joint efforts to promote peace and security in the region.
The Minister will meet Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong, and Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Secretary Richard Marles, to discuss how the UK and Australia can deepen their defence and security partnerships to support a stable, prosperous Indo-Pacific.
This includes progress on AUKUS, which will see Australia equipped with nuclear-powered, conventionally-armed submarines featuring world-leading UK technology. The initial 18-month scoping phase of the project is ongoing and expected to conclude by the spring. Beyond AUKUS, she will also discuss the two countries’ wider efforts to maintain stability and prosperity in the region, boosting bilateral trade opportunities, tackling climate change, and continued support for Ukraine.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister of State for the Indo-Pacific, said:
I’m pleased to be back in Australia for the second time this year to strengthen defence and security ties with one of our closest partners.
Strong, ambitious partnerships with nations like Australia are at the core of our commitment to deepening our engagement with the Indo-Pacific and becoming the European nation with the broadest, most integrated presence in the region.
Vicki Treadell, British High Commissioner to Australia said:
I’m delighted to welcome back Anne Marie Trevelyan in her new role as the UK’s Minister for the Indo-Pacific to Australia. This visit affirms the UK’s ongoing commitment to Australia and the Indo-Pacific region, and follows on from a busy 18 months of UK engagement in the region, including the visit of the Carrier Strike Group, AUKUS agreement, our Prime Ministers meeting at the G20 in Bali and our forthcoming Free Trade Agreement.
Trevelyan will also meet Senator Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change, and Shadow Climate Change and Energy Minister Ted O’Brien.
In addition to meetings with the federal government, she will also discuss UK priorities with key Australian parliamentarians, including members of the Defence and Trade, and Intelligence and Security committees.
Her other engagements in Australia will include giving a speech at the Australian National Press Club on Monday 28th, and attending an event at the Australian National Security College on Thursday 29th, where she will record a podcast with Professor Rory Medcalf on the geopolitical challenges facing the Indo-Pacific.
Trevelyan begins her visit in Brisbane, receiving a ‘Welcome to Country’, which honours the traditional owners of the land. The Minister will meet with representatives across government and civil society about the ongoing work that both state and federal governments are doing with First Nations communities across Australia.
The Minister’s extensive programme of engagement with Australia – at a State and Federal level – reflects both the strength of the UK-Australia relationship and the importance of the Indo-Pacific to the UK, in the face of increasing regional geopolitical competition.
Trevelyan’s visit to Australia is part of a wider nine-day trip to the Pacific, following a visit to Vanuatu earlier this week to attend the Conference of the Pacific Community and promote UK support for countries on the front line of climate change.