Links with Fiji Parliament strengthened


Stronger ties between the Fiji and Victorian Parliaments have been forged during a Victorian parliamentary mission to Suva.

Victoria's Clerk of Parliaments Ray Purdey held a series of discussions with his Fijian counterpart, Secretary-General Viniana Namosimalua, about cooperation between the two legislatures and opportunities for Victoria to contribute to the professional development of the new Fiji Parliament.

Since Fiji’s national elections in September, Victorian MPs and parliamentary staff have provided technical support to assist with the establishment of the new parliament. The latest mission provided the opportunity for the two parliamentary chief executives to discuss future programs for developing the professional skills of Fijian MPs and parliamentary staff, many of whom have not previously worked in a parliament.

As part of the mission the Victorian Parliament’s Communications Manager Andres Lomp advised the Fijian parliamentary staff on developing a community outreach plan to help inform the community about how the new parliament works and the work the members of parliament are doing.

Assistance was also provided on the design and content for the Fiji Parliament’s new website to enable its launch prior to the upcoming presentation of the Budget to the Fiji Parliament.

During the discussions with the Victorian Clerk, the Fiji Parliament’s Secretary-General warmly welcomed the support being provided by Victoria.

Mr Purdey extended, on behalf of the Victorian Parliament’s Presiding Officers, an invitation for Fiji to join the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program, which provides professional development opportunities for Pacific MPs and parliamentary staff through twinning arrangements with Australian parliaments. The program is being supported by the Australian Government through funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Centre for Democratic Institutions at the Australian National University.

The Fiji Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Ruveni Nadalo was also briefed on the opportunities for Fiji MPs to benefit from the professional development programs offered through Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships.

During the meetings, the Victorian Clerk offered to arrange further attachments of parliamentary staff to Fiji to help boost the capacity of the Fiji Parliament in the first few months of its operations. A parliamentary procedural specialist will be undertaking a three week attachment to help advise on parliamentary processes during the crucial Budget sittings being held in December.

Discussions were also held at the United Nations Development Programme Pacific Centre. The UNDP is coordinating a major international support project for the Fiji Parliament and the Victorian and Australian Parliaments are partners in that project.



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