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The Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
02 6277 7800
17 October 2022
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, the Hon Richard Marles MP, will travel to the Kingdom of Tonga and Fiji from 17 to 21 October 2022.
In Tonga, the Deputy Prime Minister will participate in the South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting (SPDMM).
SPDMM is the premier forum for Pacific Defence Ministers to discuss emerging and existing threats, key policy developments and collective responses to regional security challenges.
Ministers and senior officials will tour tsunami affected areas, providing a valuable reminder of why we meet - to ensure the Pacific family can come to each other’s aid with purpose and effect in times of need.
In Fiji, the Deputy Prime Minister will meet with the Hon Inia Seruiratu, Fijian Minister of Defence, National Security & Policing, for the annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting.
The visit reaffirms the importance and increasing strength of the Vuvale partnership between the two countries.
The Deputy Prime Minister will also visit the Blackrock Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Camp.
Quotes attributable to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP:
On the South Pacific Defence Ministers’ Meeting:
“Our region is increasingly facing both traditional and non-traditional threats to our shared security.”
“The Pacific family is stronger when we respond together, by enhancing coordination, sharing information and improving interoperability between our countries and our defence forces.”
On the Fiji-Australia Defence Ministers’ Meeting:
“Australia and Fiji’s defence relationship is enduring and strong – highlighted by the success of joint exercises, co-deployments, and shared infrastructure projects like the Blackrock Camp.”
“I look forward to opportunity to visit Fiji and meet with Minister Seruiratu again, as we work to enhance our defence partnership.”
Media will be able to access imagery at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20223309
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