Australian government policy – Tonga
Tonga Country Profile, September 2008, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Country economy fact sheet, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Australian High Commission, Kingdom of Tonga
New Tongan High Commission, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, media release, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, media release, 13 October 2008
“Australia’s relations with the Kingdom of Tonga entered a significant new phase today with a flag raising ceremony at Commonwealth Park marking the establishment of the Kingdom of Tonga’s High Commission in Canberra…The establishment of the High Commission marks a further expansion of our strong bilateral relations.
“…Australia and Tonga have long enjoyed a close relationship. There are approximately 7500 Tongan born people in Australia, who have made their mark in the arts, academia, business and sports. …Australians and Tongans continue to work closely together in regional fora, particularly the Pacific Islands Forum, which the Prime Minister of Tonga, the Hon. Dr Feleti Sevele chaired in 2007-8, as members of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, and the Ministerial Contact Group for Fiji, which Foreign Minister Sonatane Tu’a Taumoepeau-Tupou chairs.”
Downer Reaffirms Support for Tonga Government, Government of Tonga media release, 17 July 2007
“The Australian Foreign Minister, Hon Alexander Downer MP, this morning reaffirmed the Australian Government’s continuing support for the Tonga Government in his meeting with the Prime Minister, Hon Dr. Feleti Sevele and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Dr. Viliami Tangi at the Prime Minister’s Office.
“In response to a request from the Hon Prime Minister for further financial assistance, Hon Mr. Downer agreed to a grant of A$5 million to the Reconstruction and Recovery Facility. The Hon Prime Minister expressed Government’s gratitude for this generous response. Hon Mr. Downer also reaffirmed the Australian Government’s assistance towards the restructuring and capacity building of the Tonga Police Force which is a joint project with the New Zealand Government.
“The Australian Foreign Minister also expressed the Australian Government’s appreciation for Tonga’s contribution towards RAMSI noting that there is a platoon from Tonga Defense Services that are undergoing training in Townsville before deployment to the Solomon Islands. He also expressed his Government’s concern about attempts by the Solomon Islands Government to review the “immunity” status of RAMSI personnel.”
“Australia and Tonga today signed a Performance Partnership to assist the Government of Tonga in implementing its program of essential economic and public sector reforms….The partnership is the first in a series of new Performance Incentives arrangements announced in the 2007-08 overseas aid budget.
“ ‘In my Sir Arthur Tange Lecture on August 8, I outlined the various ways in which Australia currently supports leaders in the Pacific who are committed to real reform. I explained that Australia will provide additional aid funding to countries that meet agreed performance criteria. The Tonga Australia Performance Partnership is an example of this new approach’, Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer stated in a press release from the Australian High Commission Office in Nuku’alofa.”