Role of Commonwealth Parliaments in tackling the challenges of urbanisation is the focus for Commonwealth Parliamentarians at 38th CPA Australia and Pacific Regional Conference in South Australia 

The role of Commonwealth Parliaments in tackling the challenges of urbanisation has been the focus for Commonwealth Parliamentarians attending the 38th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Australia and Pacific Regional Conference in Adelaide, South Australia. The many challenges of urbanisation, transportation, infrastructure, engaging indigenous communities and rural decline were all examined by Commonwealth Parliamentarians during the Regional Conference.

The CPA Regional Conference was opened by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Hieu Van Le who spoke of the importance of parliamentary democracy in the Commonwealth, championed by the CPA, and the role of Parliamentarians in representing their communities. The Governor also recognised the progressive nature of South Australia in leading the way in promoting parliamentary democracy – including the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in South Australia in 2019.

The CPA Vice-Chairperson, Hon. John Ajaka, MLC, President of the Legislative Council of New South Wales gave the keynote address to the Regional Conference and conveyed the greetings of the CPA Chairperson, Hon. Emilia Lifaka, MP (Cameroon) to the Regional Conference. Hon. John Ajaka said: “The CPA now in its 108th year continues to demonstrate through its Members a commitment to the Commonwealth values which include parliamentary democracy. In addition, the CPA Regional Conference emphasises the excellent twinning programme between the Parliaments of the CPA Australia and CPA Pacific Regions which greatly benefits our regions.”
An address that the CPA Chairperson had been due to deliver to the Regional Conference was also distributed to delegates. To read the CPA Chairperson’s address to the Regional Conference please click here. 

Delegates were welcomed by Hon. Vincent Tarzia, MP, Speaker of the House of Assembly at the Parliament of South Australia who said that Adelaide provided one of the best examples of the challenges of urbanisation facing so many Commonwealth jurisdictions – as approximately 75% of the population of the state of South Australia live and work in the city of Adelaide. The Speaker was nominated as Chairperson of the Regional Conference with the President of the Legislative Council of South Australia, Hon. Andrew McLachlan, MLC as Deputy Regional Conference Chairperson.

Conference presentations included the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Niki Rattle, Speaker of the Parliament of the Cook Islands on service delivery for urban and rural areas with particular reference to the smallest jurisdictions of the CPA and the Sustainable Development Goals; South Australian Minister, Hon. Stephan Knoll, MP on the challenges of maintaining transport and infrastructure for urban areas; and Ms Sandra Nelson, MP (Northern Territory) on the challenges of protecting cultural identities and indigenous communities in urban areas. Delegates also visited development projects in Adelaide to see the government’s and local enterprises’ activities in addressing the challenges of urbanisation.

Around 40 Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff attended the Regional Conference from 20 CPA Branches across the CPA membership. The CPA Branches attending the 38th CPA Australia and Pacific Regional Conference included: Australia Federal; Australian Capital Territory; Bougainville; Cook Islands; Kiribati; Nauru; New Zealand; New South Wales; Niue; Northern Territory; Queensland; Samoa; South Australia; Tonga; and Tuvalu. Members also attended the Regional Conference as Observers from the British Virgin Islands, Jersey, Pakistan and Gibraltar.

In the margins of the Regional Conference, the CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Niki Rattle also chaired a meeting of CPA Small Branches from the CPA Pacific, Australia, Caribbean and British Islands & Mediterranean Regions to update Members on the network and to discuss forthcoming activities.

The three-day 38th CPA Australia and Pacific Regional Conference was hosted by the CPA South Australia Branch and Parliament of South Australia in Adelaide from 18 to 21 November 2019.

For images of the 38th CPA Australia and Pacific Regional Conference please visit or click here.

Main image: Mark Zed, Aspect Photographics South Australia.


Updated 25th November 2019.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
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