Over the coming week, I will visit Italy with Australian Government officials to promote further infrastructure and transport cooperation between our countries.
A key focus of my visit will be to promote current and upcoming Australian transport and infrastructure projects to Italian companies, in order to attract investment to our shores and encourage sharing of technical expertise and skills.
Australia and Italy enjoy a warm and long-standing relationship underpinned by links between our people and our businesses.
Nearly one million Australians have Italian ancestry, including many residents in my electorate of Grayndler.
In turn, at least 30,000 Australians are estimated to live in Italy.
Italian companies are already involved in delivering major Australian infrastructure projects such as the South Road ‘Superway’ in Adelaide and the Legacy Way Tunnel in Brisbane.
In trade terms, Italy is our fifth-largest export market in the European Union and our third-largest source of EU imports after Germany and the United Kingdom.
While in Italy, I will meet with Italian political leaders from a range of parties, as well as representatives of Confindustria, the peak body for the manufacturing, construction, energy and transportation industries.
I will also hold discussions with leading infrastructure companies, including the President and CEO of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori.
The NTV is the first operator in the world to use the new Alstom AGV train which currently holds the high speed train record.
As part of my official duties, I will also visit Giovinazzo, the sister city to Leichhardt and the birthplace of many Italian migrants who today call the Inner-West home.
Leichhardt and Giovinazzo formed their sister-city relationship as part of the Bicentenary in 1988. In fact, one of the main squares of Giovinazzo has been named Leichhardt Piazza in honour of that bond.