MINISTER for Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka has progressed initial discussions with the Australian Government in Canberra on the proposed submarine cable connection to Solomon Islands.
Mr Agovaka and his delegation travelled to Australia last week at the invitation of the Australian Government.
The meeting also included the Papua New Guinea delegation which discussions have kicked off on the proposed submarine cable from Australia to Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Mr Agovaka also held several meetings in Melbourne and Darwin.
On Monday 26 February, Minister Agovaka and his delegation were briefed by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Undersea Cable Taskforce, on the various options in rolling out the undersea cable from Australia and the proposed timelines for future meetings to look at the details of the project.
Minister Agovaka and his delegation also met with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julia Bishop.
Prime Minister Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julia Bishop reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to the submarine project.
Minister Agovaka also assured the Australian Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister of Solomon Islands gratitude and commitment to the project.
The Communications Minister also thanked Australia for facilitating the 5-days study visit.
The visit also included meetings with various Australian Departments including the Department of Communication, Home Affairs, Australian statutory body on Communication and Media, Vocus (Contractor) and local authorities in Darwin.
The delegation was briefed on Australia’s internet policies, communication market, legislation, legal regimes for landing and operating and protecting submarine cable and processes of obtaining permits.
Minister Agovaka is accompanied by his Permanent Secretary, Moses Virivolomo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Disaster Management and Metrology, Dr Melchior Mataki, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, John Teddie Usuramo and Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Collin Beck.