Bonjour, Hallo, Ciao: MPs jet off to Europe

State leaders are traversing Europe this week with Premier Peter Malinauskas visiting Germany and the Netherlands and the Trade Minister spruiking defence and wine credentials in the United Kingdom before joining an Opposition MP to travel through France and Italy.

May 11, 2023, updated May 11, 2023
Defence meetings in London. From left: Trevor Cayless from Babcock, SA's country director Stephen Camporeale, Minister Nick Champion and Babcock's Sir Nick Hines. Photo: Supplied

Defence meetings in London. From left: Trevor Cayless from Babcock, SA's country director Stephen Camporeale, Minister Nick Champion and Babcock's Sir Nick Hines. Photo: Supplied

In London, Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion is meeting with global defence companies Rolls Royce and Babcock International in a bid to persuade the companies working on the national nuclear-powered submarine to expand their presence in SA.

“Both companies play key parts in the UK nuclear program and are developing their related business strategies for the Australian market,” a spokesperson for Champion said.

“They have an Australian presence with Babcock already headquartered in Adelaide with 1200 people Australia wide and Rolls Royce supporting engines across many existing defence and civil, aerospace and maritime programs including the Hunter propulsion solution.”

Rolls Royce is tasked with supplying the nuclear reactors for Australia’s $368 billion project to acquire and build new submarines in Adelaide – and has provided the power for the British Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines for 60 years from its base in Derby.

The company works with BAE Systems Australia to build the Hunter-class anti-submarine warfare frigates for the navy at Osborne in SA.

Today, Champion is also hosting top wine companies in London to explore new ways to sell the state’s wines at premium prices in Europe.

Wine giants TWE Global and Accolade along with globally recognised wine merchants Fells, Corney & Barrow, Enotria & Coe, and Seckford Agencies are meeting some of the UK’s most respected sommeliers.

They will be tasting SA wines including Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling, Penfolds Bin 138 Shiraz Grenache Mataro, and Bird in Hand Sparkling.

Champion said the event was designed so UK industry stakeholders, businesses and potential stockists could identify wine export areas to be strengthened, also discussing the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement that will be in effect later this month.

From London, Champion switches portfolio hats to focus on his Housing, Urban Development and Planning role –Liberal shadow Minister Michelle Lensink joining him on the 2023 Urban Development Institute of Australia – SA Division’s biennial Study Tour in France and Italy.

Champion has described the study tour as coming on the back of State Government announcements to release land for housing and to develop the former Franklin Street Bus Depot site to “tackle the housing crisis”.

The itinerary takes the two MPs to a new eco-district created at a former railyard in north-west Paris and the transformation of the former Renault car manufacturing plant to housing.

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In Milan, Italy, they are visiting Cascina Merlata, a new district incorporating social housing and schools, plus meeting local planning officials.

“The state’s 30-year plan is a massive piece of policy, and we want to get this absolutely spot on,” Champion said.

“We have the opportunity to learn what is working – and not working – in some of the globe’s biggest cities and applying them in real terms in a South Australian context.”

Champion was also planning to meet with the Royal Institute of British Architects to discuss opportunities for mutual recognition of skills “as South Australia seeks to future-proof its built environment professions workforce and exploring innovative design to tackle urban density and climate challenges”.

Meanwhile, the Premier has been in Germany meeting leaders to discuss hydrogen and steel, announcing that the state is opening a trade office in Frankfurt with an annual $250,000 budget to further pursue hydrogen investment.

He said Germany is the biggest player in hydrogen in Europe and is SA’s eighth largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth $622 million, 67 German companies have a presence in SA.

Next stop was Rotterdam where the Premier delivered a keynote address on May 10 at the World Hydrogen Summit, the government working to secure investors in its planned $593 million hydrogen power plant at Whyalla.

Urban Development Institute of Australia – SA Division acting chief executive Pat Gerace said the 2023 UDIA SA Study Tour that involves Champion and Lensik is the first held since 2019 when focused on urban renewal projects in the UK.

Since the event started in 2009, it has targeted projects in North America, Asia and Europe.

“For SA to maintain our mantle of one of the world’s most liveable cities, we must continue to look to the best developments across the globe — and this tour has been carefully tailored to ensure delegates learn from the challenges faced in some of the globe’s most progressive cities, to help keep Adelaide at the forefront,” he said.

“The UDIA SA has selected and will be leading the tour to three of the busiest and most challenging development locations in the world, witnessing firsthand and hearing directly about the most cutting-edge approaches to sustainability, place making and design.

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