NEWS

Vuvale Partnership Deal: Defence Co-operation A Cornerstone

One of the indicators of strong relations between two countries is the defence co-operation. That emerged as a cornerstone of the Vuvale Partnership agreement signed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Canberra.
18 Sep 2019 11:00
Vuvale Partnership Deal: Defence Co-operation A Cornerstone
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was escorted by his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison to the Parliament House in Canberra where they also met school children on September 16, 2019. Photo: PM’s Office

One of the indicators of strong relations between two countries is the defence co-operation.

That emerged as a cornerstone of the Vuvale Partnership agreement signed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Canberra.

Australian Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds and Fijian Minister for National Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu issued a joint statement on the issue.

It said: “Australia and Fiji have reaffirmed our two nations’ commitment to an enduring defence relationship during a five-day visit to Australia by Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, as a Guest of Government.”

Senator Reynolds said the visit highlighted the strength of the two nations’ security co-operation.

She said it was a “key pillar” of the Fiji-Australia Vuvale partnership signed by Mr Bainimarama and Mr Morrison.

“This continued partnership demonstrates our enduring relationship, which is strengthened through enhanced interoperability and the ability to work together to tackle security challenges in our region and globally,” she said

“During the visit, both nations announced the next phase of the Blackrock Camp redevelopment as well as co-operation on the design of a new Fiji Maritime Essential Services Centre, which will incorporate the Republic of Fiji Navy Headquarters, the Fiji Maritime Surveillance and Rescue Coordination Centre, Coastal Radio and Fiji’s Navy Hydrographic Service.”

Alex Hawke, Australian Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific welcomed Mr Bainimarama to the Australian War College, where he announced the next phase of the Black Rock Camp redevelopment in Nadi.

“The Black Rock Camp redevelopment project is key to the continued advancement of Fiji’s security and military forces as they prepare for policing duties, peacekeeping exercises and deployments,” Mr Hawke said.

“The project will now move to the next phase, with company CC Pines Pty LTD awarded the contract to construct the Camp.”

Mr Seruiratu congratulated Australian company, CC Pines Pty Ltd, on the contract for the main works.

“CC Pines is an experienced construction industry partner and I am confident they will deliver on a tailored solution to meet the needs of our forces, as well as our environment.”

The project will create 555 skilled and unskilled construction jobs in Fiji with the redevelopment including a new headquarters, logistics precinct, classroom facilities and living-in accommodation.

During his Australian visit, Mr Bainimarama also visited Garden Island and toured HMAS Adelaide.

He met with Australian Defence Force members who have trained alongside Fijian peacekeeping forces at the Black Rock Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp, and alongside Minister Reynolds, laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in acknowledgement of the service and sacrifice of Australian service men and women.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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