Government - Australia Turns To The Pacific
The government is unveiling its multi-billion dollar plans to extend Australia's influence in the Pacific and counteract overtures the China is making in the region.
"It's in our interest, that's why we need to do it," said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
This involves setting up the AU$2 Billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific, which will provide grants and long-term loans for investments in telecommunications, energy, transport and water infrastructure. Australia's export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corp, will get another AU$1 Billion.
"My government is returning the Pacific to where it should be - front and center of Australia's strategic outlook, foreign policy, and personal connections, including at the highest levels of government," Morrison said.
These connections will be fistered and maintained by adding to the diplomatic corps. The government wants to place diplomats in all 18 countries in the Pacific Islands Forum. That means new embassies in Palau, Marshall Islands, French Polynesia, Nui, and Cook Islands. The Australian Defense Force would establish an Australia-based Pacific Mobile Training Teams that would train our neighbors in humanitarian and disaster responses, peacekeeping, and infantry skills.