• HMAS Anzac comes alongside Port Moresby, PNG.
    HMAS Anzac comes alongside Port Moresby, PNG. Defence

Australia is continuing its commitment to regional maritime security through an upgrade of wharf and shore-based infrastructure by Fletcher Morobe Constructions at PNG’s Lombrum Naval Base on Manus Island.

The move comes amid fears that China is seeking to gain a regional naval base through ‘debt-book’ diplomacy efforts with Pacific island states.

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said the $5 million contract is part of the government’s Pacific Maritime Security Program.

“The Lombrum upgrades will support the safe and secure berthing of PNG’s four new Guardian-class Patrol Boats,” Minister Pyne said.

“The infrastructure works build upon existing security cooperation between Defence and the PNG Defence Force, including the recently established $2 million communications centre at Lombrum.”

“Australia is proud to support the PNG Defence Force in strengthening their maritime security capability, and remains committed to our longstanding partnership.”

21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats are being gifted to 12 Pacific nations and Timor‑Leste from 2018-2023 under the Pacific Maritime Security Program.

“The Pacific Maritime Security Program, which is also providing a regional aerial surveillance capability, is the cornerstone of Defence’s engagement in the Pacific, and strengthens partner capacity and regional maritime security,” Minister Pyne concluded.

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