Susuga Rev Faatonu,
Hon Sue Hickey, Speaker of the House of Assembly of Tasmania,
Hon Craig Farrell, President of the Legislative Council,
Members of Parliament,
Your Excellency Australian High Commission to Samoa,
Diplomatic Corps and Distinguished guests.
It is indeed a great pleasure to be here this morning to witness another gift presentation by our Australian counterparts, specifically the Parliament of Tasmania.
The twinning relations between the Parliament of Samoa and the Parliament of Tasmania commenced in 2007. This came about through an initiative by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Australian and Pacific regional bodies to facilitate better understanding between the Pacific Parliaments, state and territory Parliaments of Australia.
Through this twinning arrangement, Samoa has benefitted immensely through several initiatives such as;
- The reciprocal visits by Members of Parliament from the two Parliaments which have been on-going such as the present delegation. This process has also seen Samoa’s Members of Parliament participating as observers during the proceedings in the Chamber and Committee work in the Parliament of Tasmania;
- Mobilising of resources for the development of the Parliament of Samoa and its support services which have been rendered consistently such as the current gesture, and last but certainly not the least;
- The Staff of the Legislative Assembly have been seconded countless times to the Office of the Legislative Assembly in Tasmania for capacity building purposes. As we witness This morning, is another achievement of this Twining Relationship as staff members of the Office of the Clerk will be presented with Certificates to mark the completion of Units pertaining to the Parliamentary Law Procedure and Practice Course with the University of Tasmania.
I understand that the Parliament of Tasmania through the Tasmanian CPA Branch expressed its willingness to render a gift to the Parliament of Samoa in 2018 to celebrate the opening of its new Chamber. Today celebrates the official handover of that gift- a clock set in Tasmanian wood which will be displayed inside the Chamber located on the wall directly opposite the Speaker’s chair. It is also a reminder that time is a limited resource, and therefore a luxury that must be used wisely to serve who we promised to serve with integrity and humility. This will also be a monumental reminder of the twinning relations between the two respective Parliaments.
It does not go without saying that Samoa is also grateful to the Government of Australia for co-funding this building and their willingness to financially support the construction of a new Office for Parliament’s Support Services. We witness this morning the launch of another important component of Maota Fono Project, which is the replacement of Members Chairs within the Chamber.
In saying that, I convey once again on behalf of the Speaker and Members of the Parliament of Samoa and our people, our heartfelt gratitude to the Parliament of Tasmania for the genuine gesture and your continuous support to the Parliament of Samoa.