MINISTER BISHOP: I’m here with my colleague the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steve Ciobo, on another special day here in Los Angeles as we celebrate G’day USA. After last night’s gala where we honoured three outstanding Australians in Ben Mendelsohn, Catherine Martin and David Hill, today we’re celebrating another fantastic collaboration between Warner Brothers and the Australian animation and visual effects firm, Animal Logic. This is the second film that Warner Brothers and Animal Logic have made in the Lego series and today we’re having an advanced screening of The Lego Batman movie. This is a fantastic example of Australian creative talent being able to contribute to an extraordinary global production, and it reflects the creativity, the ingenuity and the inventiveness of Australians in the film and television industry.
This G’day USA event has been an outstanding success. We have met many people who want to invest in Australia, we have seen many business partnerships flourish, our sponsors, including Qantas, have had a pretty special week, particularly Qantas because they were able to also launch and open their new A380 hangar at Los Angeles airport – the only one of its kind in North America. So I’ll hand over to Steve Ciobo to say a few words.
MINISTER CIOBO: Thanks Julie. Well, this has been a very good G’Day USA. It’s part of, of course, the Australian Government’s outreach here in North America and I’m very pleased that we’ve had Austrade and Tourism Australia who’ve been able to be key partners this year as well. It’s part of the vision that we’ve got to make sure that we continue to build Brand Australia to keep enticing North Americans to come down to Australia for their holidays, as well as of course to expand the reach of G’Day USA to include, for example, this year Austin, Texas – the opportunity that I had to sit down with a number of potential key investors to talk about trade relationships, to talk about the fact that as a country Australia is very committed to ongoing engagement when it comes to trade and investment and tourism with respect to North America.
The other key success I think we’ve had, Julie, is some very, very fruitful discussions with major studios over the past 48-72 hours, the opportunity to re-affirm our strong commitment to the growth of Australia’s film and TV industry and the recognition that we certainly punch above our weight when it comes to not only stars on the screen but also stars that lay behind the screen and on the production side and the post-production side.
So I’ll leave my remarks at that and over to you guys.
JOURNALIST: Are you aware, is the Australian Government aware, of any Australian citizens who’ve been denied entry into the US because of Mr Trump’s executive order?
MINISTER BISHOP: The Australian Government is working very closely with the Administration and the US officials and we want to ensure that Australians continue to have access to the United States as they have in the past, as people from the United States have access to Australia. So, our consular staff are working closely with the US officials but I won’t go into any details, but we are certainly there on the ground ensuring that Australians can continue to access the United States.
JOURNALIST: Have you had a chance to speak to the Prime Minister since his phone call with the President?
MINISTER BISHOP: Yes, I have. He was very pleased with the call, it was very warm, it was very engaging, they discussed a whole range of bilateral, regional and global issues.
JOURNALIST: Did it provide, I guess, reassurance that Australians would not be adversely affected at all by his Administration?
MINISTER BISHOP: I’ve had two very constructive conversations now over the past two days with Vice President Mike Pence, and he re-iterated the significance of the Australian US relationship. He was very well briefed on all of the details of the US-Australia alliance and I’m confident that we will continue to build our alliance. It will continue to go from strength to strength. That was the sentiment that Vice President Pence passed on to me and I’m sure it was reflected in the Prime Minister’s conversation with President Trump.
JOURNALIST: The refugee resettlement deal under the Obama Administration is that going ahead?
MINISTER BISHOP: I’m very confident that Australia and the United States will continue to work together and co-operate on ensuring that our respective immigration and border protection policies can be implemented and that we will not in any way encourage the people smuggling trade to re-establish their business models and send people, essentially, to their death on dangerous journeys to Australia.
JOURNALIST: Are you confident the original deal signed under the Obama administration will continue in its previous form or could that change?
MINISTER BISHOP: I’m confident that the Australian government and the US government will continue to support each other in ensuring that we can implement our strong immigration and border protection policies.
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