Australia and Fiji have reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring defence relationship as both nations announced the next phase of the $40 million Blackrock Camp redevelopment as well as cooperation on the design of a new Fiji Maritime Essential Services Centre.
The commitment for close defence ties was renewed during the 5 days state visit of Fijian Prime Minister Bainimarama to Australia where he also signed Fiji-Australia Vuvale partnership signed by Prime Ministers Morrison and Bainimarama in Canberra on Tuesday.
Australia and Fiji signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the redevelopment of Fiji’s Blackrock Camp at the Ministry of Defence building in Suva in April this year.
It is estimated that the project will cost $40 million and take 18 months for major contruction activities.
The project will create 555 skilled and unskilled construction jobs in Fiji with the redevelopment including a new headquarters, logistics precinct, classroom facilities and living-in accommodation.
Minister for Defence Senator Linda Reynolds welcoming the Fijian Prime Minister said the visit highlights the strength of the two nation’s security cooperation, which is a key pillar of the Fiji-Australia Vuvale partnership.
“This continued partnership demonstrates our enduring relationship which is strengthened through enhanced interoperability and the ability to work together to tackle security challenges in our region and globally,” Minister Reynolds said in her statement.
She said during the visit, both nations announced the next phase of the Blackrock Camp redevelopment as well as cooperation on the design of a new Fiji Maritime Essential Services Centre, which will incorporate the Republic of Fiji Navy Headquarters, the Fiji Maritime Surveillance and Rescue Coordination Centre, Coastal Radio and Fiji’s Navy Hydrographic Service.”
Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke yesterday welcomed Prime Minister Bainimarama to the Australian War College where Minister Hawke announced the next phase of the Blackrock Camp redevelopment in Nadi, Fiji.
“The Blackrock Camp redevelopment project is key to the continued advancement of Fiji’s security and military forces as they prepare for policing duties, peacekeeping exercises and deployments,” Minister Hawke said.
The project will now move to the next phase, with company CC Pines Pty LTD awarded the contract to construct the Camp.
Fijian Minister for National Security and Defence and Foreign Affairs, the Hon Inia Seruiratu, who was also in Australia as part of the Guest of Government visit, congratulated CC Pines Pty Ltd on the contract for main works.
During his visit, Prime Minister Bainimarama also visited Garden Island and toured HMAS Adelaide.
He also met with Australian Defence Force members who have trained alongside Fijian peacekeeping forces at the Blackrock Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp, and alongside Minister Reynolds, laid a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in acknowledgement of the service and sacrifice of Australian service men and women.