Fruitful day of discussions amongst Parliamentarians

Speaker Hon. Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu was thankful that the first day of the visit at the Parliament of Australia was fruitful as the delegation had interesting discussions amongst their counterparts.
Upon arrival at the Parliament House, they were warmly welcomed by the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon. Sue Lines and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Milton Dick despite their respective busy schedules during this Parliament Sitting Week.
The delegation then took an educational tour where they marvelled at the geometric exhibitions, historical memorial portraits, and other paintings, over 7,000 of them, which depict the rich cultural heritage of Australia and also portraits of first women parliamentarians and other significant leaders.
A session that the MPs looked forward to was their meeting with the Committee Chairs and the opportunity to observe a Joint Standing Committee public hearing.
The Leader of the Opposition Hon. Inia Seruiratu was particularly interested in the different roles that the Standing Committees and Select Committees perform.
“It was very encouraging to learn about how the Parliament of Australia conduct their Committee work and hope that this can be implemented at home so that our work becomes more effective and efficient, particularly in the areas of scrutiny and oversight.”
The delegation also met with former ABC political correspondent Ms Lousie Yaxley and Foreign Affairs reporter Mr Stephen Dziedzic and toured the studio and other interview areas within Parliamentary precincts.
This was quite interesting for the Hon. Speaker and the MPs as in Fiji, the media organisations are housed inside the premises.
After lunch, the delegation visited the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) before being hosted dinner by the Presiding Officers.
It was another great opportunity to recap on the interesting learnings during the day and there were further discussions with some Members of Parliament who joined in the dinner procession.
The Hon. Milton Dick acknowledged the leadership of Hon. Ratu Naiqama and the support the Fijian Parliament rendered to his appointment as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
“The Fijian delegation has been very kind to thank us of our generosity but its really Australia who thanks Fiji for such a strong and reliable partner in the Pacific.”
“We want our friendship to grow and we also want our Parliaments to work closer together as we learn from each other and gather information so that when we go back to our Parliament, we have a better understanding of how our system works and our Committee structures.”
Tomorrow, the delegation will visit the Museum of Australian Democracy before observing Question Time in the Senate and the House of Representatives.