Australian-funded barracks construction in Vanuatu begins

Construction has commenced in Port Vila under the Cook and Tiroas Barracks Redevelopment project – a joint initiative of the governments of Australia and Vanuatu.

FILE PHOTO (2019): Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Rhianna Jones teaches CPR to police officers from the Vanuatu Police Force Maritime Wing and Vanuatu Mobile Ground Forces soldiers in Port Villa, Vanuatu. Photo by Sergeant Ray Vance.

The large-scale infrastructure partnership will deliver facilities at Cook and Tiroas Barracks to support the Vanuatu Police Force’s growth and capability development.

Upgrades at Cook Barracks will include engineer and vehicle workshops, accommodation and training facilities, essential services and a medical centre.

Construction will commence in October at Tiroas Barracks, Luganville, where new facilities including a medical centre and armoury will be built.

Acting Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said Australia was proud to work with Vanuatu to support its security priorities.

“Australia greatly values our strong and enduring security partnership with Vanuatu, and we are committed to deepening our cooperation through tailored and sustainable support to the Vanuatu Police Force,” Minister Payne said.

“Our security forces have worked closely together on the design and delivery of this project since it was announced in January 2019.

“I am pleased to see construction commence – a particularly significant milestone given the COVID-19 environment.”

Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau said this project was very reassuring, especially as it would provide a boost to the economy in this time when the country is working hard to overcome the impacts of COVID-19.

“This is a testament to the strength of Vanuatu’s able partner to stand alongside Vanuatu, as Vanuatu takes its infant steps into developing country status,” Minister Kalsakau said.

“It is a welcome boost to Vanuatu’s efforts to tackle climate change and respond to natural disasters.

“Vanuatu humbly offers its sincere gratitude to the generosity of the people and government of Australia.”

 

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Brian Hartigan

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