Energy and water minister and Australian ambassador to bring delegation of Australian energy and water officials to Israel.

Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom and Australian Ambassador Andrea Faulkner agreed to bring a delegation of Australian energy and water officials to Israel this spring, at a meeting in the minister’s Tel Aviv office on Tuesday morning.

The decision was a result of a discussion about promoting cooperation on energy and water issues between the ministry and the Australian government, as well as relevant Australian firms, the minister’s office reported.

During the meeting the two leaders discussed issues related to Israel’s natural gas discoveries in Tamar and primarily in Leviathan, where the Australian firm Woodside holds a conditional permit for a chunk of the reservoir.

Silvan and Faulkner also discussed the Jordan River Rehabilitation Project, which Shalom promotes as regional cooperation minister. The purpose of the project is to promote peace by rehabilitating the polluted river and its banks – shared by Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Shalom’s office noted.

Thus far, the Regional Cooperation Ministry has invested about NIS 1 million in preparing a comprehensive plan for transforming the Jordan River into a cleaner and more tourist-friendly environment. In response, Faulkner said the Australian government has expressed interest in the project and, pending the submission of the comprehensive plan, may wish to join as a partner.

As far as the Australian energy and water delegation goes, Shalom told Faulkner that he would be happy to assist her in bringing its members to Israel and help to expand their operations here. When the delegation arrives this June, it will meet with senior officials from the energy and water ministry, the office added.