THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) says Sir Trevor Garland’s position as Solomon Islands Honorary Consul in Sydney was relinquished in 2014.
In a statement, it says since then the ministry has no involvement with Sir Trevor Garland on any Honorary Consul related matters.
The clarification comes after Australian police arrested and charged Garland on Thursday in Sydney.
Sir Trevor Garland, who served as honorary consul to the Solomon Islands for almost 20 years, was charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault and refused bail.
He appeared in court on Friday.
The 62-year-old was arrested when he attended Kings Cross police station at about 9am on Thursday.
An hour and a half later, detectives raided his sprawling Oakhurst historical home, “The Oaks”, which was once listed as the address for the Solomon Islands consulate in Sydney.
It is alleged Sir Trevor sexually assaulted a 24-year-old man at the home between March and April 2017.
Officers from Strike Force Moorooba, set up to investigate the assault allegations, seized “a number of items” from the double-storey Victorian mansion.
Sir Trevor was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1991 and has been bestowed other awards, including Member of the Order of the Solomon Islands in 1993 and the Cross of the Solomon Islands in 2009.
In 2010, he was appointed a Knight of the British Empire for contributing to the development of the Solomon Islands.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade said it is working on re-establishing an Honorary Consul in Sydney.
“This will be pursued with the Australian Government and the State of New South Wales,” the ministry said.
“In the meantime, the Ministry, requests all consular enquiries be directed to Solomon Islands High Commission office in Canberra.
“The Ministry wishes to add that Solomon Islands enjoys an excellent relationship with New South Wales, St Vincent Hospital and acknowledge the health programme continues to save lives and is deeply valued by the Government and its people.”
The statement adds the Ministry will make every effort to strengthen the ten-bed arrangement in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services which manages the programme.
“The appointment of a liaison officer for the ten-bed arrangement will be addressed by the Government as a matter of priority.”