Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Alex Hawke has joined Fijian Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu to turn the first sod for a major upgrade to Stanley Brown Wharf in Suva, Fiji.
The redevelopment to the wharf will allow safe and secure berthing for the new Guardian Class patrol boats to be delivered to Fiji under Australia's Pacific Maritime Security Program.
Minister Hawke said this is another example of Australia and Fiji working closely together to deliver infrastructure that supports the priorities of Fiji’s security agencies.
“I am proud to be here with my Fijian partners to mark this first step in the redevelopment of Stanley Brown Wharf,” he said.
“The importance of the upgraded wharf will be fully recognised when the new Guardian Class patrol boats are delivered to Fiji. The upgraded wharf will provide a safe and secure home for the larger and more capable patrol boats.
“The Guardian Class patrol boats are a continuation of over 30-years of co-operation in the maritime security domain and an important capability of our Fijian partners.”
Minister Hawke reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to deepening security co-operation with Fiji through a range of initiatives.
“Australia is pleased to partner with Fiji on a number of projects including the redevelopment of Blackrock Camp and the design of the Maritime Essential Services Centre, as well as this wharf upgrade,” Minister Hawke said.
“These projects enhance the long-standing relationship between our two nations, built through decades of engagement in the areas of peacekeeping, training and exchanges, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
The Pacific Maritime Security Program is a commitment of$2 billion over 30 years, designed to increase regional maritime security across the Pacific region.