Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne travelled to Malaita last week to explore the opportunities and challenges for growth and development in the province, and visit some Australian-funded development projects in Auki, Malu’u and Talakali.
In a meeting with Premier Peter Shanel Ramohia and members of the Malaitan Provincial Government during his visit, High Commissioner Byrne highlighted the Australian aid program’s increasing focus on economic growth, including in the provinces.
“I would like to thank Premier Ramohia for his warm welcome to Malaita,” said High Commissioner Byrne.
“Australia is proud to be supporting the Government of Malaita to deliver essential services and improve its business environment.”
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to explore more of this beautiful province and see firsthand how Australian aid is contributing to growth and development through our support in health, education, transport and rural development.”
“Malaita’s greatest resource is its people and their work ethic. I am excited to see the new opportunities emerging for the Malaitan people now that Gwanaru’u Airport has reopened and the North Road rehabilitation project is nearing completion.”
During the visit, High Commissioner Byrne inspected road maintenance work in northern Malaita funded by the Australian Government through the National Transport Fund.
“At present, the National Transport Fund is supporting almost SBD$100 million in transport maintenance and improvements in Malaita to ensure more reliable access to markets and services across the province”.
High Commissioner Byrne also participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project in Diula, and visited a cocoa farm trialling a solar drying technique, the Auki Market Vendors Association and Talakali clinic – all of which are being supported through the Australian Government.
Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands