On Tuesday afternoon at Parliament House, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop officially launched the public consultation process for the next Foreign Policy White Paper.
In her remarks at the launch, Minister Bishop noted that “Australia might not be a global power, but we have global interests”. The objective of the White Paper, which is slated for release in August or September 2017, is to provide a comprehensive strategy and framework for managing Australia’s international engagement – which (according to the Terms of Reference) the Government pursues in order ‘to make Australia and Australians more prosperous and more secure.’
Foreign aid did not loom large in the Minister’s remarks at the launch, though overseas development assistance did at least rate a mention into the Call for Submissions document [pdf] and the Terms of Reference.
The White Paper consultation process is now open, with written submissions accepted from the public through 28 February 2017. Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; more information available here. Public submissions will form part of a broader program of consultation which will evidently include both roundtable discussions in all states and territories (schedule to be announced), as well as closed consultations with experts and key stakeholders.
In related news, Julie Bishop also told reporters at the White Paper launch that she does not expect any further cuts to the DFAT budget to be announced as part of next week’s MYEFO.