The Hon Martin Pakula MP – travel report – United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy, 11 – 20 March 2022
|Minister||The Hon Martin Pakula MP|
Minister for Industry Support and Recovery
|Countries visited||United Kingom, Denmark and Italy|
|Date of travel||11 to 20 March 2022 (inclusive)|
|No. of official travel days|
(including day of departure and day of return)
|Number of accompanying ministerial staff||1|
|Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity||No|
|Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency)||Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions|
|Air fares (including taxes and fees)||$22,107*|
|Accommodation (including taxes and fees)||$4,850*|
|Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)||$5,163*|
|Travel cost for minister and staff||$32,120*|
*The above costs are not final and complete
Purpose of travel
The primary purpose of my travel to the United Kingdom was to progress the Victorian Government’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games in regional Victoria. In Birmingham I delivered a key presentation to the Commonwealth Games Federation outlining Victoria’s unique vision to host the Games across four regional hubs: Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Gippsland; with activities and celebrations proposed to take place across the State including Melbourne.
My official visit also provided the opportunity to strengthen relationships with key trade and investment partners in Denmark and Italy. Europe is an increasingly important trade and investment partner for Victoria, which will be further strengthened through the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement currently under negotiation and forms an important part of Victoria’s economic recovery following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria
Since my official visit to Birmingham, the Commonwealth Games Federation confirmed Victoria as the host for the 2026 Commonwealth Games after a period of exclusive negotiations.
It is estimated the 2026 Commonwealth Games (Victoria 2026) will contribute more than $3 billion to Victoria’s economy, creating approximately 600 full-time equivalent jobs before the Games, 3900 jobs during the Games and a further 3000 jobs beyond the Closing Ceremony.
Victoria 2026 will also invest significantly in community infrastructure, including housing and world-class sports facilities, that will provide housing opportunities for the regions as well as modern sports infrastructure to encourage Victorians to get active and attract future major events.
During my time in London, I met with Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom to discuss the benefits of the recently signed Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom. We discussed ways to collaborate in promoting opportunities to Victorian exporters and prospective British investors.
In Copenhagen, I attended a business lunch hosted by Australia’s Ambassador to Denmark, along with nine key existing and potential Danish investors. The event was an opportunity to connect with key investors; and to encourage new and further investment in Victoria. At the event I discussed the Victorian Government’s policies on low emissions technologies, infrastructure, technology and skill development. The Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in London is following up with the companies regarding potential expansion plans and new investment leads.
Further to this, I met with a leading Danish offshore wind developer. I highlighted the Victorian Government’s offshore wind policy and discussed the company’s investment strategy in Victoria. There is an opportunity to support the Victorian Government’s renewable energy policy through investment from companies in new and low emissions or no emissions technology. Offshore wind projects could generate up to 6100 jobs in the development and construction phase and in ongoing operational jobs.
During my official visit to Italy, I met with the Australian Consul-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner to Milan to discuss areas for mutual collaboration between Victoria and the region of Lombardy. I also met with Lombardy Government officials to reaffirm Victoria’s interest in greater cooperation with the Lombardy region and noted our shared comparative advantages in areas such as agriculture, food and beverage, advanced manufacturing, the creative industries and defence.
In Milan, I progressed discussions on a partnership between the State of Victoria and Lombardy region. Lombardy is home to more than 800,000 companies and attracts more than 60 per cent of Italy’s foreign direct investment. It is a leader in innovation, with more than 500 research and development (R&D) centres and the highest private R&D expenditure in Italy.
The partnership is being negotiated and aims to drive greater economic relations through collaboration and innovation across key sectors including food and agriculture, advanced manufacturing, the creative industries and defence. This will deliver trade and investment outcomes for Victoria.
In Milan I also met with Fincantieri about the possibilities of investment in Victorian infrastructure projects.
Additionally, I met with Leonardo to discuss their investment in Fishermans Bend which is expected to generate a significant number of new jobs and capital expenditure in Victoria. I discussed opportunities for further investment by Leonardo in the State.
Next Steps / Follow Up
The Victorian Government’s trade and investment relationship with the United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy remains a priority. Key trade and investment outcomes are important to ensure Victoria's economy benefits all Victorians by creating more jobs for more people, building thriving places and regions and nurturing inclusive communities.
The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and VGTI office with responsibility for the United Kingdom and Europe will continue investment and project discussions with relevant stakeholders to develop the opportunities and outcomes identified during my official travel.
The 2026 Commonwealth Games were secured. The Office for the Commonwealth Games has established a local organising committee to finalise the sport program for Victoria 2026; and engagement with First Nations people, local business and communities has begun. A process to assess what further infrastructure upgrades will be required to host Commonwealth Games events in world-class sporting venues across regional Victoria has commenced.
Page last updated: 27 June 2022