"The PM's diary for next week hasn't been confirmed yet,"a spokeswoman said on Thursday, shortly after the Dalai Lama touched down in Melbourne for his 11-day Australian tour. Victorian federal Labor MP Michael Danby has been lobbying Ms Gillard to meet with the respected Buddhist, even though such a meeting might anger China.
"I haven't heard from her yet - I hope she will," Mr Danby told ABC radio. "I hope the Dalai Lama will be met at least at the foreign minister level."Danby says he is not aware of Chinese officials trying to pressure federal politicians into snubbing His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He says Ms Gillard is considering a meeting but concedes she will have a lot on her plate when parliament resumes next week - the carbon tax, the Malaysia refugee deal and the suspension of live exports to Indonesia to name a few.
The Australian Tibet Council has also called on Ms Gillard to commit to a meeting. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will also meet with Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown and other other Liberal and Labor MPs and senators during his brief stay in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Mr Abbott previously met the Nobel Peace Laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader in December 2009, shortly after taking over the Liberal leadership.
Many of his devotees wore traditional Tibetan clothing or monk's robes and waved flags. He will spend 11 days in Australia, giving public lectures and meeting political leaders. He will also speak with the federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott and the Greens leader, Bob Brown, in Canberra next week.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will donate $100,000 to the Australian youth charity in Melbourne during his visit. Youth worker, Mr Twentyman said the cash would be enough to help 1000 more students back into school, with more available to help homeless youth get meals over the coming year. He also said the group had been "riveted" by the hour-long talk in freezing weather, "something I've never seen in 30 years of youth work and 10 years of school children".