Australia and New Zealand will work together to tackle chronic disease, advance general health care and improve the accuracy and availability of GPS signals as part of our commitment to increase collaboration on research and innovation.

Today the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, and the New Zealand Minister for Economic Development, Transport and Communications, Simon Bridges, signed a treaty-level Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement at the Australia New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting in Queenstown.

This is the first treaty of its kind between our countries. It formalises what has been a naturally close and enduring partnership. More importantly, it recognises the immense economic and social potential that merging our efforts and resources can bring to the region.

The creation of an innovation hub will have tremendous benefits for our communities, growing the economy and creating business opportunities and jobs in new and traditional sectors.

This flagship agreement signifies the strong alignment of our nations’ economic and strategic interests and is essential to the Single Economic Market agenda.

Both countries have felt the challenges of industry transition and recognise the need to adjust and adapt. Science, research and innovation are crucial to achieving our goals and ambitions.

This Agreement concludes a year of intense negotiations. It recognises the strength of our relationship and the advantages of sharing our resources, assets and knowledge.

The Square Kilometre Array project is a prime example of working together, as part of a 10-country collaboration to build the world’s largest and most advanced radio telescope. We are also trialing the Satellite Base Augmentation System in both countries.

2017 marks the beginning of a new phase in our partnership. The Agreement provides the framework for us to work together to create commercial opportunities and improve the lives of our people.