Consulate Report - AustraliaConsulate Report - Australia
Following the election on 21 May, Australia’s new government, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, was sworn in on 31 May 2022. The new ministry has a record number of women (10), its first Muslim ministers (Ed Husic as Industry and Science Minister and Anne Aly as the Early Childhood Education and Youth Minister) and its first Indigenous woman as Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney.
As we celebrate our first in person Pride since 2019 next month, I want to let you know that Sydney will be hosting WorldPride2023 (17 February-5 March). This is the largest LGBTQ Pride event and organisers are expecting a large contingent of Canadians. Toronto hosted WorldPride in 2014.
Air Canada re-starts its Vancouver-Brisbane daily flight as of 1 July. Coupled with its 10 weekly flights to Sydney and Qantas’s 4x/week Sydney service, it means it is getting easier to travel between Australia and Canada. We are seeing a big uptick in Australians visiting BC this summer with the Alaskan cruises and the Rocky Mountains popular draws.
Passport processing delays have made the news here but they are also an issue in Australia as Passports Australia estimates as many as 2 million Australians will require passports this year. Passport applications are a major service of the Consulate. We are currently fully booked for appointments until August. It is also taking as long as six weeks to receive passports from Australia. So, for anyone with travel plans needing to renew their passport, do it now. There are some potential changes in the Fall which should help with the delays.
As in previous reports, I would like to highlight some Aussie companies in the market. Sydney-based Newcrest Mining acquired Pretium late last year for $CAD3.5B. Coupled with its purchase of a 70% stake in Red Chris Mine in 2019, Newcrest is now a major gold player in BC and has established its Americas Regional headquarters in Vancouver. Vital Metals, a Sydney-based mining company, recently opened Canada’s first (and North America’s 2nd) rare earth mine in the NWT and will be opening a processing facility in Saskatchewan in September. Augment Resources, a new CANZBA member, has just established a presence in Vancouver. Finally, here are some Aussie owned businesses in Vancouver worth checking out – Peaked Pies, Punk Rock Pastries and Ruex Café & Bar.
In closing, I want to thank the members who turned out for our first in-person CANZBA Conversation with the Hon Scott Ryan, Australia’s new High Commissioner to Canada on 2 June. It was a great turnout and a wonderful opportunity to re-connect. Thanks to Tony Crossman at Blakes for hosting.
Enjoy the summer!