20 August 2019, Apia Samoa. The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Choules arrives into Apia today for a seven day visit to Samoa.
According to a press release, personnel on the navy ship will spend the week engaging with Samoan counterparts on disaster preparedness.
“HMAS Choules has the capability to deliver Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) in the Pacific”.
“HMAS Choules personnel are supporting Samoa’s environmental efforts through participation in the 2 Million Tree Planting Campaign, while Australian Defence Force personnel will explore how Australia can support Samoa’s education and infrastructure needs, utilising Australian training and engineering expertise.”
“HMAS Choules personnel will connect with their counterparts in the Samoa Police Service over friendly games of touch football and volleyball, as well as conduct community outreach to schools, helicopter and ship tours, and further engagement with the Samoa Police Band.”
Australian High Commissioner, Ms Sara Moriarty, said that Australia was pleased to support Samoa with its long-term security priorities and disaster preparedness.
“Australia has a long history of working alongside Samoa to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and to respond to shared security challenges, including through the Pacific Maritime Security Program,” Ms Moriarty said.
“The HMAS Choules visit demonstrates Australia’s ongoing cooperation and partnership with our regional partners in the Pacific to ensure security and stability.”
This week DFAT released a statement by the Australian Prime Minister reiterating Australia’s Aid in the Pacific in response to questions about Deputy Prime Minister McCormacks views on Pacific Island countrys surviving climate change because of Australian Aid assistance.
The Prime Minister of Australia says, “Australia has the deepest engagement and biggest commitment of any nation in the world in the Pacific. Australians should be very proud of the way we work closely with our Pacific family. And we’re there for the difficult conversations, we’re there for every type of conversation with our Pacific family. Just like any family that comes around the table we discuss all these things through. We talk them all through. And that’s what Australians have always done in the Pacific. We’ve always been there. We will always be there. And regardless of whatever issues we have to work through at the time, our Pacific family knows that Australia will always be for them. For the simple reason is that they’re part of the community in which we live and that is the view of my government.”