Fijian Prime Minister Hon. Josaia V. Bainimarama and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese MP have launched a major infrastructure project to enhance Fiji’s maritime capabilities.
Building on the long-standing Vuvale Partnership, Fiji and Australia will construct the new Maritime Essential Services Centre (MESC) in Lami, Fiji.
The MESC will house the Republic of Fiji Navy Headquarters, Suva Radio Coastal Station, Fiji Maritime Surveillance Coordination Centre, and Fiji Hydrographic Office.
The project is valued at $83 million AUD (approx $124 million FJD) and will generate significant work for Fijian construction companies and local workers to support Fiji’s COVID-19 recovery.
Importantly, it will boost Fiji’s leadership in responding to natural disasters, protect local fishing industries, and increase naval and coastal rescue capabilities.
The project is due for completion in 2024 and will be managed by Icon.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Bainimarama:
Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama thanked the Australian Government for its tremendous support towards the development of new Maritime Essential Services Centre.
“This Maritime Essential Services Centre is set to become a crucial pulse point from which we will be able to better monitor Fijian waters; secure our Blue Economy from internal and external threats and undertake the expansion of our maritime protected areas in our journey towards achieving 100% ocean sustainability – just to name a few.
“The Centre will house the Republic of Fiji’s Naval Headquarters, the Fiji Hydrographic Office, the Fiji Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, the Fiji Maritime Fusion Centre, and the 3DP Suva Coastal Radio.
“The creation of the Maritime Centre is estimated to be completed in 2024 and will inject around $56.2 Million Dollars into the Fijian economy, creating more than 445 jobs across the nation. Good blue jobs that are purpose-built for the future every Fijian wants for ourselves and our children and grand-children.
“Honourable Albanese, on behalf of the people of Fiji I would like to express our sincere gratitude to our Australian Vuvale for your ongoing support, your efforts towards helping Fiji advance securely and sustainably -- and your invaluable friendship.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“Australia is helping to build a stronger Pacific family and I am proud to partner with Fiji in the next steps of our Vuvale Partnership.
“The Maritime Essential Services Centre will play a role in enhancing Fiji’s security and prosperity.
“It will protect local fishing industries—an issue of great importance to our Pacific neighbours—and deliver cutting-edge hydrographic monitoring facilities.
“Consistent with our commitment to addressing climate change, these essential services will be housed in an environmentally sustainable facility designed to withstand natural disasters.”