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Vuvale Partnership And The Basis To Make It Workable

While it’s hard to predict what the Australia-Fiji Vuvale partnership will entail, at least it’s a good start. This is the result of the Fiji-Australia bilateral meeting held yesterday between
18 Jan 2019 15:46
Vuvale Partnership And The Basis To Make It Workable
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

While it’s hard to predict what the Australia-Fiji Vuvale partnership will entail, at least it’s a good start.

This is the result of the Fiji-Australia bilateral meeting held yesterday between Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison.

Perhaps, first on the list of things to iron out as a family is the misunderstanding in the case of Islamic State terrorist Neil Prakash. Australia stripped him of his Australian citizenship on the basis that he was Fijian, but without consulting the Fijian Government first.

According to the Fiji Department of Immigration records, Prakash never was and never did apply for Fijian citizenship. This leaves the man stateless.

Thus, the most important lesson in any family relationship – communication!

Mr Bainimarama is perhaps going to let bygones be bygones and will remain steadfast in his decision – Neil Prakash is not welcome here.

However, he is optimistic of this renewed vuvale partnership. He reckons that Suva will no longer see diplomacy through headlines and hurried phone calls to Canberra.

This is what family is all about.
Family is also about making time for family members. For this, Mr Morrison must be commended. From his

busy schedule and with the upcoming general election, he chose to spend two days in Fiji – a first for any Australian Prime Minister.

Family is also about building positive relationships and working towards the betterment of the other.

For this, the following initiatives announced by Australia will certainly pave the way forward:

  • Begin work on Fiji’s entry into the Australian Pacific Labour Scheme;
  • Fiji to be part of the Pacific Medicines Testing programme;
  • The Australian Government and University of the South Pacific partnership will be worth more than $84 million over the next six years;
  • The Australian Government will commit some $17.1m to provide 1000 hours of new Australian television content each year for three years to Pacific broadcasters across the region
  • The Australian Government will provide support for travel costs associated with Fiji entering a team to compete in the NSW Rugby League Intrust Super premiership in 2020; and
  • Assist the Fijian national team prepare for the Netball World Cup in the United Kingdom in July.

So, is asking for a visa-free entry into Australia too much to ask for members of the family?

Perhaps Fijian nationals can be granted a visa waiver for at least 30 days on their arrival in Australia. Of course, a number of conditions will have to be adhered to.

And like any family, disagreements are bound to happen along the way. Both sides should take time to listen and acknowledge each other and keep communicating until issues are resolved.

This is what a true “vuvale partnership” is all about.
Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

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