Home News Australia’s helping hand in the Games, the Elections and Infrastructure applauded

Australia’s helping hand in the Games, the Elections and Infrastructure applauded

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Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele has applauded Australia’s huge support in helping Solomon Islands achieve its target of hosting a successful 2023 Pacific Games, the recent Joint National and Provincial Elections and ongoing Infrastructure development programmes.

Manele conveyed his gratitude during his meeting with Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Richard Marles in Honiara today.

Hon. Marles is on a one-day visit during which he also met with Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Bradley Tovosia, Finance Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare and Police Minister Hon. Jimson Tanangada.

Prime Minister Manele expressed his sincere gratitude to Australia for providing SB$100 million to support the delivery of the largest and most successful Pacific Games ever.

Solomon Islands achieved its best performance during the Games at the 7th in the Gold Medal tally and 6thin the total medal tally.

Manele also expressed his deep appreciation to Australia, for its significant financial contribution of AU$25 million [SBD135 million] that enabled the country’s historic joint election to be conducted successfully last month.

“Let me thank your government for the substantial support you provided on the security for the joint elections, the logistical support and also the critical role played by the Australian Electoral Commission that guided our Electoral Commission to implement our most complex elections so far with tremendous success,” he said.

The Prime Minister highlighted that ongoing reforms in the electoral system will need further support from development partners as the Government maintains work on areas including (1) Continuous Voter Registration, (2) Out of Constituency Voting, (3) National ID linked to Voter IDs and (4) Increasing Gender representation in Parliament.

Manele said the Government hopes to accomplish at least the first three reforms by the 2028 joint elections.

“I believe we have set a benchmark on elections that will be difficult to match in the region. I hope we can do just as well in the 2028 joint elections,” he said.

On Infrastructure, Prime Minister Manele noted the investment that Australia has committed to develop the infrastructure sector in Solomon Islands noting that “infrastructure is the most important priority in driving Solomon Islands’ economic development”.

Manele acknowledged Australia’s contribution to infrastructure at almost SBD 1 billion annually over the past five years – noting Australia’s assistance for technical support rendered through the SIIP in the revision of the Solomon Islands National Infrastructure Pipeline Project [SINIPP] 2023 document.

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The Prime Minister also commended Australia’s support to the Tina Hydro Project through the AIFFP and SIIP, which, will transform the country’s infrastructure and energy landscape.

Manele also sought Australia’s further assistance in training Solomon Islanders in infrastructure planning, management and operational maintenance.

ENDS///

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