Building one of the best docking infrastructure in place enables trade, creates opportunities for a nation such as Fiji and securitize the nation from maritime threats.
This were the sentiments from the Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs, Inia Seruiratu while officiating at the ground breaking ceremony for the new wharf at the Stanley Brown Naval Base in Suva this morning.
Minister Seruiratu said the upgrade of this wharf is not only critical towards building our capabilities in securing our borders but also support the Pacific Maritime Security Program under the ‘Vuvale partnership’ between Fiji and Australia.
“The Pacific Maritime Security Program is a testament to Australia’s commitment in assisting our 12 Pacific Island nations with 19 steel-hulled patrol boats valued at $AUD280 million and a sustainment support facility for an initial 07 years period, valued at AUD$24 million.” Minister Seruiratu said.
“This will contribute towards the maintenance of our collective regional security, achieve defence self-reliance and in contextualizing it to our situation, it to assist Fiji in maritime security, fisheries surveillance and more.”
Minister Seruiratu highlighted the last upgrade of this wharf was about twenty years ago and this initiative is a timely one as the new and improved wharf will support the replacement Guardian-class patrol boat that will berth our shore early next year.
Sharing similar sentiments Australia’s Assistant Defence Minister Hon. Alex Hawke said this new development will further strengthen the “Vuvale partnership” between Australia and Fiji.
Hawke commended the Fijian Government for its support towards this project in ensuring that Fiji’s borders, economic zones and regional security is enhanced not only in Fiji but throughout the region including Australia.