On a visit to Fiji this week, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne discussed strengthening security ties with the region. Australia is currently constructing new Guardian-class patrol boats which Fiji will receive to support law enforcement, immigration and customs efforts as well as help combat maritime security issues across the Pacific.
Payne said that porous borders across the Pacific are contributing in part to transnational crime, and there is a lack of ability to readily identify those security challenges where they occur.
Of the new boats, Payne said “This is a new generation of the vessel which will support the work of Island nations in combating a range of maritime security issues, from transnational crime to illegal fishing.”
The Minister also visited the Blackrock Camp during her visit. Australia and Fiji are working together to redevelop this facility into a world-class regional hub for peacekeeping training and pre-deployment preparation.
During the visit, Payne met with Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama; and her counterpart Minister for Defence, National Security and Foreign Affairs Inia Seruiratu.