M24 22 March 1995
AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENTARY CONSULTATIVE DELEGATION TO VIETNAM
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced that the visit of an Australian Parliamentary Consultative Delegation to Vietnam would proceed in early April. The despatch of the delegation was originally agreed during the visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet to Australia in 1993 and was recently reconfirmed following high-level discussions between the Australian and Vietnamese Governments.
The delegation is a multi-party one and will be led by Senator Stephen Loosley, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. Mr Alexander Downer, MP, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Senator Vicki Bourne of the Australian Democrats will be the other parliamentary members.
Two eminent experts from the fields of Asian affairs and legal reform have also been included. They are Professor Nancy Viviani, from the Faculty of Asian and International Studies at Griffith University and Mr Chris Sidoti, a Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission.
The delegation also includes two prominent and highly-regarded Vietnamese-Australians: Professor Trang Thomas, Chair of the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission, and Ms Mai Ho, businesswoman and formerly Footscray City Councillor.
Two officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will accompany the delegation.
Senator Evans said the delegation would discuss a wide range of matters relevant to the contemporary relationship between Australia and Vietnam. Its program would be essentially that agreed for the visit originally planned for last year, and would include not only access to a full range of government departments and agencies, but meetings with police, lawyers, court and prison officials, and religious and cultural organisations.
The delegation's visit to Vietnam will take place from 5 - 12 April.