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New South Wales Parliament delegation to the Bougainville House of Representatives

New South Wales Parliament delegation to the Bougainville House of Representatives

In July 2022, a delegation from the NSW Parliament visited the Autonomous Region of Bougainville House of Representatives, continuing the long-standing partnership agreement between our parliaments. The delegation consisted of four members – the Hon. Leslie Williams MP, Mr Mark Taylor MP, Mr David Mehan MP, and Ms Sue Higginson MLC – and two parliamentary officers, Mr Simon Johnston and Ms Clara Hawker.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's 'twinning' arrangements between parliaments in the Australian and Pacific regions were established in 2007 and reinforced in 2010 with signed 'Partnership Agreements'.

This 2022 visit was an opportunity to reaffirm the partnership and allow members and staff to meet and develop relationships – the last delegation from NSW Parliament was in 2018, with COVID-19 making travel impossible until recently.

The delegation met with the President, Ishmael Toroama, and Speaker, Hon. Simon Pentanu, as well as the Clerk, Robert Tapi, and other staff over three days in Buka, the site of the House of Representatives.

Meetings included an open forum held in the House following a Parliamentary sitting, and more focussed sessions with the BHOR's female members and Committee Chairs. Topics covered included challenges and priorities, as well as upcoming opportunities and ways that the NSW Parliament can support the Bougainville House of Representatives as they work towards formal independence for Bougainville between 2025 and 2027.


Left to right: Mr Simon Johnston, Clerk-Assistant; Mr Robert Tapi, Clerk of the Bougainville House of Representatives;
 the Hon. Leslie Williams MP, Deputy Speaker; the Hon. Simon Pentanu, Speaker of the Bougainville House of Representatives;
Mr Mark Taylor MP; Ms Sue Higginson MLC; Mr David Mehan MP.


Members of the NSW Parliament delegation meet with Bougainville House of Representatives Committee Chairs.