By Timothy Infiri Jr
The Australian Government have announced that they will be contributing a total of SBD $100 Million to invest in the success of the 2023 South Pacific Games through a range of activities, which will be hosted in Honiara.
The announcement was confirmed by the visiting Australian Minister for Defence industry and Minister for international development and the Pacific, Hon. Patrick Conroy during a press conference held at the Honiara Golf Course yesterday (9th of August).
“Australia is supporting the Pacific Games because it’s a priority of the Solomon Islands Government and people, and being the development partner of choice for the Solomon Islands, means listening to the priorities of the Solomon Islands people and Government,” said Conroy.
Minister Conroy also stated that just like they helped with the economic development, investing on education and funding health investments, sports too is another good example for assets of Australia’s support for the Solomon Islands.
Next year’s South Pacific Games will see Australia sending their largest delegation to Honiara compared to the past Pacific Games.
“That’s important as member of the Pacific family, we should be well represented at the Pacific Games”, said Conroy.
Australia is said to being the largest development partner for the Solomon Islands, providing about AUD $161 Million last year in aid and development to the country.
“When you include our in-kind support through the ADF (Australian Defence Force), it gets close to AUD $200 Million. So we’re proud and honoured to be the development partner of choice to the Solomon Islands”, he said.
Meanwhile Conroy highlighted that it has been a very successful visit and certainly it won’t be his last to the Solomon Islands.
The day’s program also saw both Hon Conroy and Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare attending a ceremony at the Solomon Islands Institute of Sports (SINIS) where Minister Conroy firstly announced the Pacific Games assistance earlier that morning.