Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Australian Senator Brett Mason pledges $20 million boost for Samoa's infrastructure projects

Saturday May 10, 2014 - 08:34 EST
Audience submitted image
Senator Brett Mason, Australia's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs has pledged a $20 million boost for Samoa's infrastructure projects. - Audience submitted

Australia has pledged a $20 million boost for Samoa's infrastructure projects.

Australian Senator Brett Mason has made the announcement from Apia, the capital of Samoa, where he is on the last leg of of his current tour of Cook Islands, New Zealand and Samoa.

The parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, says the initial project will include repairing and improving economically important roads and bridges.

This will include those damaged by Cyclone Evan in December 2012.

"We will also be investing in a new international submarine cable to boost Samoa's internet connectivity," Senator Mason told Radio Australia's .

"We all know that a well-maintained economic infrastructure is fundamental to the economic prosperity of all nations."




Senator Mason says the private sector particularly needs better infrastructure to grow and Australia is pleased to support the Pacific nation.

However, he says the Samoan government understands why Australia has made cuts to its aid programs.

"Australia's aid program to Samoa was reduced fractionally for the financial year," Senator Mason said.

"But the (Australian) High Commission here has worked closely with the Samoan Government to minimise the impact of these budget reductions on existing programs."

Special Leaders retreat, Cook Island

Senator Mason was Australia's representative at the Special Leaders retreat in Cook Islands earlier this week, where they discussed the Pacific Plan.

He says there is a recognition among the leaders that something has to change to restart the process of regional cooperation in the Pacific.

"If nations are to pool their resources then they need to act far more comprehensively," Senator Mason said.

"The Leaders retreat was one, the commitment to do that and secondly, how are we going to do that."

Senator Mason says the top priorities for the leaders include security, transport and buying goods in bulk and better connectivity between the island states.

"When you better integrate economies, ultimately that can lead to nation-states having to sacrifice part of their sovereignty," he said.

"They are difficult issues for nations...but they are the sorts of issues that if the Pacific is to move ahead, we are going to have to grapple with over the short to medium term."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Skyrocketing beanies caused by winter

15:00 EST

We're now past the shortest day of the year and well into winter, so just how wintry is it in southeastern Australia? A weak cold front has just clipped Victoria and southeastern New South Wales, bringing with it frequent showers and fresh winds.

Either humid or calm - tricky month for drying clothes

12:39 EST

So far this winter much of southeastern Australian has either been too humid or too calm for the washing to dry as fast as it would normally at this time of year.

SA Power Networks paid $18.5m in compensation for December blackout

08:39 EST

A new report shows SA Power Networks paid more than $18.5 million to households that lost power in The figure was included in two reports released by the Essential Services Commission of SA (ESCOSA) into the December storm, and the .