PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela has welcomed Australia’s enduring commitment to the stability and development of Solomon Islands. During a courtesy call on the Prime Minister Tuesday this week, Australian High Commissioner HE Roderick Brazier presented a letter of congratulations from Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Prime Minister Hou said he was reassured by expressions of bipartisan support in the Australian Parliament for the bilateral security treaty.
Signed by the Foreign Ministers of both countries in Canberra in August, the agreement prepares the ground for rapid Australian assistance in the unlikely event of instability in Solomon Islands in future. Prime Minister Hou also welcomed Australia’s support for nation-building infrastructure projects that would transform Solomon Islands’ economy and provide jobs and opportunities for its people. He said he was very keen for the undersea cable project to be completed as quickly as possible because of the enormous benefits it would deliver for the nation.
“The submarine cable is a project close to my heart since working with the World Bank,” The Australian High Commissioner commended the Prime Minister’s commitment to restoring health clinics, a vitally important service for families in villages around the country.
He reiterated Australia’s support for the health sector, including through direct budget support to the Ministry of Health. In response to the Prime Minister Hou’s intention to personally attend the next meeting of the Core Economic Working Group, the High Commissioner pledged that Australia would always be a constructive and reliable donor partner for Solomon Islands. “As the largest overseas donor, Australia would focus development assistance to support the Hou Government’s priorities of economic growth and good governance in Solomon Islands,” the High Commissioner said.