Vila Times

Australian Foreign Minister visits Luganville

Australian Foreign Minister visits Luganville
Australian Foreign Minister visits Luganville
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Friday 1 November, Australian Foreign Minister Maryse Payne visited Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu, marking the first official visit there by an Australian Foreign Minister.
The visit provided the opportunity to see the Government’s Pacific Step-up in action outside of Port Vila and to witness the breadth of Australia’s partnership with Vanuatu.
During her visit, she opened the newly refurbished Luganville Market House, which plays a vital role in supporting women’s economic empowerment. She was impressed to learn that the market will support over 3,000 vendors who are mostly women.
She also visited the Vanuatu Police Force Northern Command Headquarters to hand over keys to two new police vehicles that will enhance police capability. Australia has a strong history of supporting the police and justice sector in Vanuatu. We are building on that as part of our Pacific Step-up.
She had the privilege to visit Banban Primary School, where Australia has supported the construction of new classrooms that provide shelter for children displaced by volcanic eruptions on the nearby Ambae and Ambrym islands.
She also visited an innovative kava processing factory that is employing more than 130 ni-Vanuatu, and improving the nation’s agricultural and economic performance.
Her visit underscored Australia’s shared commitment with its Pacific neighbours to a secure, stable and prosperous region.