Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Australia would build or restore six ocean and coastal wharves in rural Solomon Islands settlements, guaranteeing long-term access to schools, hospitals and jobs for up to 16,500 people.
Speaking from Honiara, Senator Carr said the $4 million Australian wharf program would be vital for the economic future of remote settlements in parts of Malaita, Western and Isabel Provinces.
"This is about helping rural families in the Solomon Islands maintain access to schools, hospitals and jobs," Senator Carr said.
"Entire communities can lose access to essential services and employment if local wharf infrastructure fails.
"I'm proud to announce Australia and the Solomon Islands will work together to keep these communities connected — with new or rebuilt wharves in six rural locations.
"We'll deliver $4 million to rebuild wharves in Malaita, Western and Isabel Provinces. Wharf construction work will also create local jobs — good news for families in smaller island settlements.
"These rebuilt wharves will be further testimony to Australia's long-term commitment to Pacific jobs, health and transport in the Solomon Islands, and to our partnership with the Solomon Islands Government in delivering services to those in need."
Wharves would be built or rebuilt in Waisisi and Uhu in Malaita, Ngasini, Ringgi and Keru in Western Province and Tatamna in Isabel Province. Work would commence in 2013 with the wharves to be completed by mid-2014.
The $4 million project is in addition to $24 million previously provided for road and bridge works in the Solomon Islands since 2007.
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