Today I will meet with the New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bill English in Wellington to discuss how we can further strengthen our already strong economic relationship and work together to tackle dangerous climate change.
We will discuss the importance of our bilateral relationship, in particular the progress we have made in developing a Single Economic Market between our two countries.
I also look forward to meeting with the New Zealand Environment Minister Nick Smith to discuss New Zealand's successful introduction of an emission trading scheme in 2008.
I will provide a briefing about Australia's plans for a clean energy future announced on Sunday. Central to this plan is the introduction of a fixed carbon price for three years from 1 July 2012 that will then transition to an emissions trading scheme in 2015.
Australia and New Zealand last month agreed to establish a senior officials group to work on arrangements to link our two emissions trading schemes at an appropriate point in the future.
This is because we both recognise that addressing climate change is necessary to reduce carbon pollution, drive innovation and investment in clean energy technology, and move production towards less pollution-intensive processes.
I will meet with Gerry Brownlee, New Zealand Minister responsible for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, to offer my condolences and those of the Australian people for the tragic loss of life resulting from the Canterbury earthquakes. I will also discuss how Christchurch is recovering from the earthquakes and aftershocks that have affected the region since the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on 4 September last year.
Mr English and I will meet with a select group of trans-Tasman business leaders to discuss how our two countries' economic relationship can be further strengthened. I will also deliver an address to the Trans-Tasman Business Council before returning to Australia later today.
14 July 2011