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Australia reaffirms support to Kiribati and Nauru

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The Hon Richard Marles MP Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs

Australia reaffirms support to Kiribati and Nauru

Media release

30 November 2010

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles today announced Australian Government support for the redevelopment of the Kiribati School of Nursing so it can deliver internationally recognised courses in basic nursing.

"This will improve the delivery of health services in Kiribati, and allow I-Kiribati trainee nurses to qualify for more advanced nurse training at regional and Australian institutions," Mr Marles said.

"I-Kiribati nurses will then have the qualifications and skills needed to work in the region and internationally."

Australia will also assist with the expansion of the Government of Kiribati’s midwife training program, boosting the number of midwives trained from 20 to 60 a year by 2015.

At the Kiribati Marine Training Centre, Mr Marles announced $45,000 for a new Satellite Internet Centre that will enable trainees and staff to develop their English language and computer skills through improved access to distance learning courses.

"In November 2009, Australia provided more than $1 million for a new training enclosed lifeboat, hydraulic crane, full bridge and engine simulators, which has greatly enhanced the centre’s capacity to train seafarers to international standards," Mr Marles said.

At the Kiribati Institute of Technology, Mr Marles noted Australia’s recent support of $500,000 for a much-needed upgrade to facilities. He reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to working closely with the institute over the next 10 years as it redevelops campus infrastructure and courses.

At the Kiribati School and Centre for Children with Special Needs, Mr Marles committed an additional $50,000 in operational funding and support for a new bus to transport children to and from the Centre. Australia has provided more than $300,000 to the centre since 2008.

Yesterday in Nauru, Mr Marles announced Australian support for the Nauru hospital redevelopment plan, and gave an in-principle commitment that Australia will contribute to the eventual construction of a new hospital.

"Australian support to the health sector is also helping Nauru develop strategies in the fight against diseases such as diabetes and it is fantastic to see Nauru achieve a 100 per cent immunisation coverage for key vaccines including tuberculosis and measles," Mr Marles said.

During a visit to the Nauru Secondary School, Mr Marles said he was delighted that Australia was closely involved in the $11 million redevelopment project that included Nauru’s first Technical and Vocational Education and Training facility.

"This was the largest infrastructure project undertaken in Nauru in more than a decade and I am particularly pleased that the community-based construction process created some 200 jobs and saw nearly $1.5 million flowing into the community through the construction process," Mr Marles said.

Media inquiries

• Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (02) 6277 4330 • Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555