11 December 2015
Australian delegation concludes Pacific visit
Four Australian parliamentarians led by the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, left Honiara yesterday after a successful visit.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Sogavare, Minister Ciobo reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to a strong partnership with Solomon Islands focusing on stability, economic growth and human development.
“I was pleased to return to Honiara after my visit here in February this year,” said Minister Ciobo.
“My appointment as Minister for International Development and the Pacific demonstrates the importance the Australian Government places on Pacific countries such as Solomon Islands”.
Prime Minister Sogavare and Minister Ciobo jointly announced the Australian Government’s $50 million package of education support in Solomon Islands. The package will support basic education and scholarships. It also includes a new bilateral skills initiative which will assist Solomon Islands to produce technical and vocational graduates with internationally recognised qualifications.
Minister Ciobo also met with members of the local business community to discuss opportunities to increase investment in Solomon Islands. He also visited the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) Commissioner who briefed him on RSIPF’s preparedness for RAMSI’s drawdown.
This is the final leg of a week-long Pacific tour encompassing Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Solomon Islands.
Minister Ciobo was accompanied by a bipartisan delegation from the Australian Parliament including Mrs Nola Marino MP, Chief Government Whip; Mrs Jane Prentice MP, Federal Member for Ryan and Mrs Sharon Claydon MP, Federal Member for Newcastle.