Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that India will open a consulate in Brisbane to actualise the long-pending demand by the diaspora.
PM Modi made the announcement while addressing a packed stadium at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena. It was attended by his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese.
India currently has three consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Brisbane currently has an Honorary Consulate of India.
“A new Indian Consulate will be opened soon in Brisbane,” said PM Modi.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016 census, 619,164 people in Australia declared that they were of ethnic Indian ancestry. This comprises 2.8 per cent of the Australian population. Among those, 592,000 were born in India.
“An absolute delight connecting with Indian diaspora at community programme,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister thanked his Australian counterpart for supporting him in unveiling foundation stone of ‘Little India’, a suburb of Sydney.
The announcement to declare Harris Park as ‘Little India’ was made by Australian Prime Minister Albanese as he welcomed Modi at the community event.
Harris Park is a hub in Western Sydney where the Indian community celebrates festivals and events such as Diwali and Australia Day.
Earlier, in an interview with “The Australian” newspaper, PM Modi said he wants to take the relationship with Australia to the “next level”, including closer defence and security ties to help ensure an “open and free” Indo-Pacific.
“As two democracies, India and Australia have shared interests in a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. There is alignment of our strategic viewpoints,” PM Modi told the newspaper.
(With agency inputs)