Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has paid tribute to the FAMOA Council of Chiefs and the FAMOA Trust Board of the Shortland Islands for their commitment, vision and patience to host the Border and Patrol Outpost on their land.
Prime Minister Sogavare conveyed his gratitude to FAMOA during a historic ground breaking ceremony at Lofung on Wednesday 23 June to mark the start of the Outpost construction.
The Australian Government funded the multi-million dollar project in response to Prime Minister Sogavere’s request to Scot Morrison in 2019.
“To the Famoa Council of Chiefs and the Famoa Trust Board allow me to pay tribute to the commitment, vision and patience that you have demonstrated over the years” “Sogavare said.
“It has not been an easy road. I understand a lot of discussions and negotiations has gone into ensuring that this project becomes a reality,” he added.
Like all other national project, Prime Minister Sogavare said the issue of land is important in guaranteeing its progress.
A reconciliation ceremony was held on Monday 21 June with the Saraba and Kome groups to sort out some misunderstanding.
“I am informed that this has been sorted out and I am extremely glad that the parties have reached an understanding. Allow me to applaud the parties for recognizing the need for working together to achieve a common good,” he said.
The Prime Minister hoped that as the project moves towards the actual construction phase, parties involved will continue to sort out any differences in the true spirit of cooperation, understanding and respect.
Mr Sogavare pledged that his Government will continue to work the FAMOA and people of Shortland Islands to fulfil the intention groundbreaking ceremony.
The Prime Minister also conveyed his appreciation to the Parliament Member of Shortland Islands Constituency the political support in moving the project forward.
“I must commend you in your vision and desire to support this project,” he said.
The Australian High Commission Lachlan Strahan joined Prime Minister Sogavare at the Ground Breaking event.