Australian and Pacific parliaments that belong to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) are participating in a twinning program that provides the opportunity to enhance relations, exchange information and learn from each other. The concept of twinning is similar to the ‘sister city’ relationships that exist between cities of different countries.
The twinned Australian and Pacific parliaments are:
- Australian Capital Territory with Kiribati
- New South Wales with Bougainville and Solomon Islands
- Norfolk Island with Niue
- Northern Territory with Niue
- Queensland with Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu
- South Australia with Tonga
- Tasmania with Samoa
- Victoria with Nauru and Tuvalu
- Western Australia with Cook Islands
The national parliaments of Australia and New Zealand provide an overall coordination role for the twinning program.
A joint initiative of Australia’s federal, state and territory parliaments in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships supports the ongoing development of Pacific parliaments. Funded principally by AusAID, the program focuses on professional development of parliamentarians, capacity building of parliamentary secretariats and development of community outreach initiatives.
Eight Pacific parliaments currently benefit from the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program: Bougainville, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
The program links in to the twinning arrangements between Australian and Pacific parliaments that are members of the CPA. The following Australian parliaments currently participate in the program through their twinning links with the eight Pacific parliaments: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.
The Australian Region secretariat for the CPA, in partnership with the UNDP and twinned Australian parliaments, coordinates the Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships program for Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. The Australian Region secretariat is located in the Australian Parliament’s International and Community Relations Office at Parliament House in Canberra.
The New South Wales Parliament coordinates the program for Bougainville and Solomon Islands.
For a list of recent projects supported under Pacific Parliamentary Partnerships click here
Pacific island parliaments are supported with training and equipment provided through an Education Trust Fund administered by the Australian Region of the CPA.
Support includes provision of information technology and broadcasting equipment, as well as procedural and technical training.
Applications for the 2012/13 program are currently being considered.