Photo credit @ AHC

ON his first official visit as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, the Hon Jeremiah Manele is in Australia from Sunday 23 to Saturday 29 June 2024.

Prime Minister Manele began his visit in Queensland, where he saw how the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme is delivering economic benefits for both Solomon Islands and Australia.

On 24 June 2024 he met Solomon Islands PALM scheme workers at Primo Foods in Wacol, Queensland, and toured the facility with Jamie Eastley, Chief Operating Officer of Primo Food. The PALM scheme is helping thousands of Solomon Islanders save money to support their families and communities.

Next, on 25 June, Prime Minister Manele visited the Humanitarian Logistics Capability Warehouse in Brisbane. This facility enables the Australian Government to respond better, faster, and more efficiently to humanitarian crises.

In 2023, Australia provided emergency humanitarian relief supplies from this warehouse to the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office to deliver to the remote outer islands of Temotu that were impacted by Tropical Cyclone Lola.

These supplies included a three-month supply of rice, tarpaulin and shelter kits, medical supplies and school supplies to vulnerable communities in Vanikoro, Tikopia, Anuta, Duff, Plini and Nukapu.

In Canberra, Australia’s capital, the Prime Minister was welcomed by Aunty Serena Williams, a proud Ngunnawal – Wiradjuri woman, with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, held at the summit of Mt Ainslie. Solomon Islands and Australia have rich kastom cultures, traditions, and knowledge that connect our people and underpin our close and enduring partnership.

In the afternoon of 25 June, the Prime Minister and delegation toured Maritime Border Command within the Australian Border Operations Centre, where the Australian Border Force and Australian Defence Force demonstrated how they work with international partners to deter and prevent illegal maritime activity.

On 26 June, Prime Minister Manele received a ceremonial welcome at Australian Parliament House, alongside the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP. In their meetings, the two leaders discussed their vision for a transformational Solomon Islands – Australia Partnership.

The leaders discussed the importance of economic growth and job creation for Solomon Islands’ future, and welcomed the mutual benefits from the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme.

The leaders discussed the request from Solomon Islands to Australia to assist in growing and building the capability of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, asking ministers and officials to work together on next steps. The leaders also agreed the importance of Solomon Islands’ three-tier security arrangement as a framework for strengthening Solomon Islands’ sovereignty, stability and resilience.

Prime Minister Manele is accompanied on his visit by Foreign Minister, the Hon Peter Shanel Agovaka, and Minister for National Planning and Development Coordination, the Hon Rexon Ramofafia.

Prime Minister Manele’s visit continues today, Thursday 27 June, with a tour of the AFP Training Facility at Pinkenba, Brisbane, and meetings with the Queensland Government to discuss trade and investment.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here