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Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Minister for Defence
Nicky Hamer (Minister Reynolds’ Office): +61 437 989 927
Defence Media: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 January 2020
Australia is deeply grateful for Fiji’s generous offer to support Australia’s emergency bushfire response through the provision of troops from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
Australia is currently facing an unprecedented national disaster as bushfires continue to sweep across large parts of NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Australia welcomes Fiji’s offer to provide an engineering platoon to assist in the bushfire fighting and recovery efforts.
“Fiji’s offer of assistance exemplifies the strength of our ties with Pacific neighbours. This offer of friendship in a time of need is deeply appreciated and continues to demonstrate how Australia and Fiji are family,” Minister Reynolds said.
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said Fiji’s offer to provide its own military personnel to support Australia is a valued reminder of the strength of the bonds between our two countries.
“We are very grateful to have them by our side right now. We know we can rely on Fiji,” Senator Payne said.
Fiji’s Minister for National Security, Defence and Foreign Affairs, The Hon Inia Seruiratu MSD, said “Australia and Fiji have a long history of cooperation and support in times of natural disasters. Fiji stands in solidarity with the people of Australia and is proud to offer military assistance. In Fiji we have a word – Vuvale which means ‘family’ or ‘my home is your home’. Australia and Fiji are family in every respect and we will support Australia at this difficult time”.
Australian and Fijian militaries regularly exercise and train together. This military assistance embodies the principles of the Vuvale Partnership.
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