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Defence aid patrol craft handed over to the Solomon Islands



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TUESDAY, MAY 1, 1979. NO. 79/79

DEFENCE AID PATROL CRAFT HANDED OVER TO THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

A 16 metre patrol boat, provided to the Solomon

Islands Government at a cost of $850,000 under the Australian

Government's Defence Co-operation Program, will be formally

handed over today. The Minister for Defence, Mr D.J. Killen,

said today the Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon

Islands, Mr A.J. Melhuish, would hand over the boat to the

Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mr Peter Kenilorea,

at a ceremony in Honiara.

The boat, which was built by de Havilland Marine,

will be used by the Solomon Islands police in’coastal and

inter-island Solomon waters. It left Sydney on March 30,

arriving in Port Moresby on April 19, where it made a three-

day stopover before proceeding via Samarai and the Rossel Islands

to Honiara. .

The boat's crew for the delivery voyage included

two marine engineer officers from the Solomon Islands. They,

together with three other Solomon Islands personnel, had

previously undergone maintenance training in Australia.

Mr Killen said an Australian naval officer would

be detached to the Solomon Islands for three months to provide

advisory assistance and practical instruction in all aspects

of the boat's operation. * * ** *ยท* ** ** * * * *

Further Inquiries: Mr Noel Tanswell 65 2999 (office hours) 48 0476 (after hours) .