Andrews to visit Israel

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews. Photo: Peter Haskin

VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews will travel to Israel next month, the first sitting Victorian leader to visit there since Steve Bracks 12 years ago.

Andrews’ trip, originally scheduled for August, was postponed following the death of Victorian Labor MP Fiona Richardson.

The visit will provide an important opportunity to build new partnerships between research institutes, businesses and cultural institutions, the Premier’s office stated.

“I am very pleased to be returning to Israel – for the first time as Premier,” Andrews said this week. “We have exciting announcements that tell a proud and confident story of the relationship between Israel and Victoria.

“Whether it be advances in cybersecurity, medical technology and more, Victoria has much to gain from Israel and its people.”

Andrews will visit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Labour Party leader Avi Gabbay.

He will hold talks with key figures in plans to develop partnerships between Victoria and Israel in various fields, including medical technology and cybersecurity.

Andrews previously visited Israel as Opposition Leader in December 2013. At the time, he told The AJN, “There’s so much more to the modern Israeli story that just these geopolitical security issues,” he said. “I met with many different people who tell a story of a modern, advanced and can I say, fundamentally ambitious Israel.”

Reflecting on how Victoria can benefit from Israel’s achievements, he added, “There’s an opportunity to learn and better understand that if you are concerted, if you are determined, if you’ve got that Israeli ambition and drive, that single-mindedness, I think you can deliver great things.”