Decisions under Australia’s Foreign Arrangements Scheme
Australia's Foreign Arrangements Scheme has been in operation since 10 December 2020. The Scheme requires states and territories, local governments and Australian public universities to notify the Minister for Foreign Affairs of existing and proposed foreign arrangements. I have so far been notified of over 1,000 arrangements.
States and territories have now completed their initial audit of existing arrangements with foreign national governments.
The more than 1,000 notified so far reflect the richness and breadth of Australia's international interests and demonstrate the important role played by Australia's states, territories, universities and local governments in advancing Australia's interests abroad.
I thank the states and territories for their cooperation and for what is developing as a cooperative approach under the Scheme.
Following review and consideration of arrangements, I can advise that the following four will be cancelled:
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Education and Training (Victoria) and the Technical and Vocational Training Organisation, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed 25 November 2004.
- Protocol of Scientific Cooperation between the Ministry of Higher Education in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Training of Victoria, signed 31 March 1999.
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Victoria and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China on Cooperation within the Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, signed 8 October 2018.
- Framework Agreement between the Government of Victoria and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China on Jointly Promoting the Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, signed on 23 October 2019.
I consider these four arrangements to be inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations in line with the relevant test in Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Act 2020.
I have also decided to approve a proposed Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Human Resources Development in Energy and Mineral Resources Sector between the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation of the Government of Western Australia and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia.
I will continue to consider foreign arrangements notified under the Scheme. I expect the overwhelming majority of them to remain unaffected. I look forward to ongoing collaboration with states, territories, universities and local governments in implementing the Foreign Arrangements Scheme.