AUST OF­FERS TO HELP US ES­TAB­LISH CIVIL­IAN DIS­AS­TER RE­SPONSE TEAMS

Fiji Sun - - Nation -

Aus­tralia has of­fered to as­sist us es­tab­lish a net­work of civil­ian dis­as­ter re­sponse teams to im­prove its abil­ity to deal with events such as Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Win­ston. The is­sue was raised at a meet­ing in Suva yes­ter­day when the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Econ­omy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, gave a brief­ing on the cy­clone re­lief ef­fort to the vis­it­ing Aus­tralian Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment and the Pa­cific, Sen­a­tor Con­cetta Fier­ra­vanti-Wells. The Sen­a­tor said Fiji could learn from the suc­cess of the State Emer­gency Ser­vices that had been set up around Aus­tralia to deal with nat­u­ral dis­as­ters such as cy­clones and bush­fires. And she of­fered Aus­tralia’s as­sis­tance to pro­vide on the ground train­ing for Fi­jians in as­pects of dis­as­ter man­age­ment rel­e­vant to lo­cal con­di­tions in Fiji. The A-G out­lined some of the chal­lenges Fiji was con­tin­u­ing to face in deal­ing with the wide­spread de­struc­tion caused by Cy­clone Win­ston in Fe­bru­ary. He said there was a short­age of steel and tim­ber to meet the wide­spread de­mand for build­ing ma­te­ri­als and the Govern­ment was work­ing closely with the pri­vate sec­tor to make more avail­able as quickly as pos­si­ble. The A-G ex­plained as­pects of the Help for Homes and Adopt a School pro­grammes, which he said were in­no­va­tive but were also be­ing ham­pered by a short­age of qual­ity con­struc­tion com­pa­nies and trades­peo­ple. The A-G gave the Sen­a­tor a tour of the new sit­u­a­tion room in the Min­istry of Econ­omy that is mon­i­tor­ing the cy­clone re­build­ing ef­fort. Other is­sues dis­cussed in­cluded cli­mate change and re­lated adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion and the PACER Plus ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Photo: DEPTFO News

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Econ­omy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (right), with Aus­tralia’s Min­is­ter for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment and the Pa­cific, Sen­a­tor Con­cetta Fier­ra­vanti-Wells.

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