Press Conference - Port Villa, Vanuatu

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Richard Marles MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Defence

Media contact

02 6277 7800

Release content

6 June 2023

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, RICHARD MARLES: It's wonderful to be here with Prime Minister Kalsakau on what is a very special and important day for the Australian Government. The Pacific maritime security program is a central way in which Australia makes its contribution to the Pacific, and specifically here in Vanuatu. All of us were deeply pained when RVS Takuare, was damaged in the course of cyclones, Kevin and Judy. Of course, Australia was very keen to be here in the immediate aftermath of both of those cyclones to provide support to Vanuatu across the full area of where damage had occurred. But one critical area was the damage to RVS Takuare and the need therefore to provide Vanuatu with an interim capability until Takuare is repaired, and right now Takuare’s in Cairns being repaired. So it's a real pleasure to have the Reliant here today to be delivering a vessel which will be able to be operated by the Vanuatu Police Force, and it will be able to provide a number of the functions that Takuare was able to do. And we hope that this is a really useful interim solution. But what it is, is a sign of the commitment that Australia has to honour its obligations and to honour its programs with Vanuatu because Vanuatu is front and centre as a country of great importance to Australia. And I think this is a symbol today of the affection between our two countries.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Marles, what's the status of the proposed bilateral security arrangement with Vanuatu?

ALATOI ISHMAEL KALSAKAU MAAU’KORO, PRIME MINISTER OF VANUATU: Well, I can answer that where it concerns Vanuatu. We are just near, it is at the National Security Council at the moment, just going through the text, and it’ll go towards the Council of Ministers. And it will be presented for ratification before the end of this year in Parliament.

MARLES: And we're really happy with the discourse that we've had with both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister today. Look, it's going to be a really important agreement between our two countries. We're very happy with the progress that is being made here in Vanuatu in relation to it and the progress has also been made in Australia.


Other related releases