Senator Lisa Singh, regarded as the first Federal Parliamentarian of Indian origin, will travel to Sydney to welcome to Australia the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.
“This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister for more than 28 years. The last time was when the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke invited Rajiv Gandhi to visit Australia.
Senator Singh will attend a special reception in honour of the Indian Prime Minister in Sydney on Monday 17 November. After the Sydney event Senator Singh will attend Prime Minister Modi’s address to the Commonwealth Parliament in Canberra on Tuesday.
“I am really looking forward to meeting him. With more than 400,000 people of Indian origin in Australia there is a special connection between our two countries.
“The landslide election of Narendra Modi this year galvanised India. I particularly liked his campaign of ‘toilets before temples’, modernising sanitation, as well as for the rights of women to live without fear of rape and violence.
“He has focused the world’s attention on the incredible dynamism of the Indian economy, society and cultural life and its important role in the future of global politics.
“This is a unique opportunity for Australia to build and strengthen its relations with India. With a growing Indian middle class his visit will spark an opportunity for future tourism and business growth in Australia.
“We share so much more than cricket. We are countries with shared democratic values, and a deep enrichment of multiculturalism.
“The visit two years ago by Julia Gillard to India was a pivotal moment in Australia-India relations. This will be another pivotal moment with the visit of Mr Modi”.
“As an Australian of Indian heritage it is indeed a special moment to meet Mr Modi and have him address our parliament. It also wonderful for thousands of Australians of Indian origin to come together for his address,” Senator Singh said.
SENATOR LISA SINGH SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA