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Albanese govt lodges wage rise submission

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will sign a letter to the Fair Work Commission advocating for an increase to the minimum wage.

But the government will not specify the rate at which the minimum wage should be raised.

Mr Albanese says his government will lodge a submission to the commission on Friday undertaking a wages review, as he promised during the election campaign.

"There won't be a number in the submission," Mr Albanese told ABC radio.

"What there will be, though, is the strong view ... that people who are on the minimum wage simply can't afford a real wage cut."

While tackling domestic issues of cost of living pressures and COVID, the new prime minister is also mending Australia's relationships abroad.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has visited Fiji to pledge Australia's support in the region, which Mr Albanese said was the first step.

Australia could differentiate its offering to the Pacific from China's pledge, he said.

"What we can offer is no strings attached and that's the big difference," Mr Albanese said.

"We can offer respect for the sovereignty of our Pacific Island neighbours. We can offer the long-term support and relationships that Australia has with our Pacific Island neighbours."

The prime minister has also spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time.

The two leaders agreed to rebuild a bilateral agenda after relations soured over the Morrison government's decision to ditch a submarine contract with France.

"After acknowledging the severe breach of trust following the decision of the previous prime minister, Scott Morrison, to terminate the submarine contracts, the French president and Australia's prime minister have agreed to rebuild a bilateral relation based on trust and respect (...)," the Elysee Palace said on Thursday.