Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 34, I have the honour to present to the House, in both official languages, the report of the joint parliamentary delegation's visit to Australia from June 26 to July 4, 1994.
This visit took us to four communities: Canberra, Longreach, Brisbane and Sydney. As guests of the Australian Senate and House of Representatives, we were provided with the opportunity to meet and discuss matters with numerous parliamentarians, many of whom were ministers, both at the federal and state levels. Our discussions covered a wide range of topics: international affairs, including APEC, GATT, NAFTA, UN peacekeeping, economic and taxation issues, including the GST, aboriginal affairs, federal-state relations and employment, agricultural and educational issues, just to name a few.
I know I speak for all the members of the delegation when I say that we felt as if we were still at home in Canada because of the numerous similarities between our two countries.
Let me conclude by drawing the House's attention to a recommendation put forward by an Australian counterpart, the hon. Andrew Peacock. Mr. Peacock felt very strongly that because Canada and Australia have so much in common and so many areas in which expertise can be shared and exchanged, some form of mechanism or association should be created to ensure that this type of exchange between Australian and Canadian parliamentarians takes place on a more frequent and regular basis.
In closing, Mr. Speaker, I wish to express our gratitude to the Hon. Michael Beahan, President of the Senate and your counterpart, the Hon. Stephen Martin, Speaker of the House of Representatives for being such gracious hosts; Mrs. Carol Richardson, Australian Parliamentary Officer, who worked so hard and successfully on our program; and finally to Mr. Michael Berry, Canadian High Commissioner, and Mr. Gardiner Wilson, Canadian Deputy High Commissioner, who provided the delegation with much appreciated advice and support.