While visiting Fiji, Defence Minister Marise Payne has announced the establishment of a new Defence meeting and confirmed Australia will deliver a $2 million package of support for Fiji’s Black Rock training facility.
Minister Payne and Fiji's Minister for National Security and Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola agreed to strengthen the Australia-Fiji defence relationship by establishing formal, annual Australia-Fiji Defence Ministers’ meetings.
"I am pleased we are establishing a new Defence Ministerial Meeting between Australia and Fiji, as this further demonstrates our enduring commitment to deepening our defence relationship," Minister Payne said.
Minister Payne also offered a package of support for Fiji’s Black Rock training facility, which Minister Kubuabola accepted. The package will further enhance Australia and Fiji's defence co-operation in the area of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peacekeeping.
"Supporting the Republic of Fiji Military Forces to construct a humanitarian supplies warehouse at its Black Rock training facility will enhance Fiji’s ability to respond to natural disasters and other humanitarian crises in Fiji and the region," Minister Payne said.
"I was pleased to also offer the establishment of an Australian Defence Force (ADF) instructor position at the base to enhance the Republic of Fiji Military Forces’ peacekeeping capability.
"Australia appreciates the force protection role of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces, for United Nations peacekeepers, including ADF personnel in the Golan Heights and Syria."
Earlier this year, Fiji agreed to purchase 10 refurbished Bushmaster vehicles from Australia and Minister Kubuabola also toured the Thales Eagle Farm facility during a visit to Australia in March.