Coat of arms

Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Senator for South Australia

Media Release
31 August 2020

Industry Department and Foreign Affairs to appear before COVID-19 inquiry

A parliamentary inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s defence, trade and international relations will hear from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in two separate public hearings this week.

Senator David Fawcett, Chair of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, said that the two Departments have vital roles to play in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Industry Department will have to identify and transform industries critical to national sovereign capabilities to ensure Australia is less vulnerable to future shocks, while DFAT will need to lead Australia through a rapidly changing and uncertain regional and global environment.

Senator Fawcett said “The work done by the Departments of Industry and Foreign Affairs will be crucial to Australia’s pandemic recovery as we look to build local capability and ensure international markets and institutions remain strong and open. Our challenges are to make sure we have a strong and resilient national economy and that we do what we can to make sure the global rules-based order is not unduly disrupted by changes in the international environment.”

Full terms of reference for the inquiry are on the Committee website.

Public hearing details

Date: Tuesday 1 September

Witness: Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Time: 4.30 – 5.30pm AEST
Location: By teleconference


Date: Wednesday 2 September

Witness: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Time: 8.00am – 9.00am AEST

Location: By teleconference

The hearings will be audio streamed live at