Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, and Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, spoke to the media yesterday about the Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) – Australia’s flagship 10-year SBD1.5 billion partnership with Solomon Islands.
Local media representatives had the opportunity to hear how SIIP will create local economic opportunities through a pipeline of high priority infrastructure projects.
“Australia will build with appropriate speed, but we won’t cut corners. We won’t compromise standards. We will deliver high quality, sustainable and inclusive infrastructure.
“Through SIIP, the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments want to deliver infrastructure that Solomon Islanders can feel proud of’, said Australian High Commissioner Dr Strahan.
SIIP focuses on infrastructure that drives growth and the economy including: transport (land, sea and air), ICT, electricity, water and sanitation, and infrastructure that supports rural development (eg markets).
SIIP’s activities and strategic direction are set by a high level bilateral SIIP Steering Committee co-chaired by the Secretary to the Prime Minister and the Australian High Commissioner. Membership also includes the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of National Planning and Development Coordination, and Finance and Treasury.
The Steering Committee reviews program progress and performance, and ensures program funding is committed and spent in effective and efficient ways.
Growing local jobs and opportunities is one of SIIP’s five key principles. The Steering Committee has also determined that every SIIP-supported investment must be planned, designed, procured and constructed to optimize local content outcomes.
Prioritising and designing infrastructure developments around local content means more jobs and more economic opportunities to support the nation’s recovery from COVID-19.