Minister for Defence Marise Payne signed the MoU with the Solomon Islands Ministry of Infrastructure Development, formally assigning the Primary Charting Authority (PCA) role for Solomon Islands to Australia.
The PCA role will enable Australia to support the Solomon Islands in delivering up-to-date nautical charts to meet their obligations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.
In a statement from Minister Payne's office, the department said superior knowledge of the maritime domain will enable Solomon Islands’ maritime forces enhanced manoeuvring capabilities, which strengthens domestic and regional maritime security.
Defence said the charts will also help promote Solomon Islands’ economic development through safe and efficient domestic and regional maritime trade as well as tourism through the cruise ship industry.
"Australia is very proud of its longstanding relationship with Solomon Islands and is equally proud to partner with Solomon Islands to keep mariners safe and protect the marine environment," the statement said.
The Department of Defence has already issued a new portfolio of charts for Solomon Islands’ waters, which incorporates 16 paper and 46 state-of-the-art electronic charts. These charts are issued on behalf of Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration for all mariners navigating in Solomon Islands’ waters.