Australian Government assist Tonga with budget support

The agreement was signed by the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga Mr. Andrew Ford and the Minister of Revenue & Customs and Acting Minister of Finance and National Planning Tevita Lavemaau.

The assistance was part of Donor’s Harmonized Policy Reform matrix led by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Commission and the Government of New Zealand as a new entrant.

Changes to Australian visa processing in Tonga

Most clients lodging a visa application for Australia in Tonga will need to attend the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in person to provide biometrics unless they

Australia supports Tonga’s Zika Virus outbreak response efforts

The vehicle will support Ministry of Health’s (MoH) Environmental Health Unit, in their efforts to combat the spread of the Zika virus, and other vector borne diseases in Tonga.

Tonga, through their National Zika Response Plan, has been working to reduce the spread of the Zika epidemic in Tonga.

Tonga has reported a cumulative total of 2299 cases including 41 cases of suspected Zika in pregnant women.

Australia's FM to open new diplomatic post in Indonesia's Makassar

Julie Bishop says she will formally open the new emabssy in Jakarta and also visit the Eastern city of Makassar to open a consulate-general there.

She says Makassar, on Sulawesi Island, is a key commercial hub for Australians doing business in the east of Indonesia.

Australia stands ready to help Fiji long-term: Bishop

PACNEWS reports this was revealed by Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop after meetings with Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Foreign Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in Suva. 

Pacific countries to benefit more from Australia’s seasonal workers programme

That’s over and above those who came to Australia under the earlier seasonal worker pilot programme, said Minister for Trade and Investment, Senator Richard Colbeck.

“We are in the process of negotiating an updated seasonal worker programme MOU with participant countries and we will sign an updated MOU with the Solomon Islands, and we're very pleased to be doing that.

Australia gives more funding to fight Pacific drought

It gave US$6.5 million dollars last year and has just announced another US$359,000 dollars in additional support for the North Pacific.

The foreign minister Julie Bishop said the money will focus initially on the Marshall Islands where a state of emergency is in force.

Australia and NZ provide assistance to cyclone-hit Vava’u

The island group was affected by the close passage of Cyclone Winston on Tuesday 16 February and again on Friday 19 February.

While there has been damage to agricultural food crops, some schools, military camp and hospital, Vava’u has emerged without significant damage to major infrastructure.

Australia pledges $5m aid to Fiji

The funding package will be a rapid release of pre-positioned stores and food items to assist people who remain in evacuation centres.

The supplies will give communities access to safe drinking water and basic hygiene for those who have lost houses and remain displaced.

Meth bust Australia's 'biggest ever'

Four people have been charged over the importation and manufacture of 720 litres of methamphetamine.

Authorities discovered the drugs in a shipment from Asia to Australia and found the remainder in storage units in Sydney.

The ice was allegedly hidden in stick-on 'water magic' push up bras, bottles of craft glue and painting sets.