BY JENNIFER KUSAPA
THE construction of the Outpost Patrol Boat base will commence next year in the Shortland Islands.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police National Security and Correctional Services revealed during the Public Accounts Committee meeting last week.
PS Karen Galokale said the project construction will commence next year and the first engineering team will arrive in the country on October 15 to conduct first technical site assessments.
She said the whole principle of that set-up is to have a multi-facility that will accommodate different law agencies, so it will comprise certain types of infrastructures and the cost will be around AUD82million.
Meanwhile Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau further clarified that the costing covers the policing of Western Border as well other law-enforcement agencies the Immigration, Customs, Fisheries and others.
“It is a big project, as it is of national interest in terms of our security,” Mangau said.
PS Galokale also revealed during the PAC that the land is 20 hectares, with a total agreement sale of 11.5m, however 1.7m instalment payment already made to the Land holding group Famoa.
Australia and Solomon Islands continue to work together to ensure that Pacific homes remain secure, stable, and prosperous.
The new facility will bring together police, customs and immigration officials in a single location to reinforce the security of Solomon Islands’ Western Border and promote peaceful cross-border movements.
It will also deliver new facilities to coordinate operations, accommodation, and a wharf capable of supporting RSIPV Taro and Gizo, Solomon Islands’ Guardian-class Patrol Boats, and Australian-gifted fast boats.
Solomon Islands has chosen Lofung South in the Shortland Islands as the location for the Outpost. Construction will take up to three years. Engineers will conduct technical site investigations in the coming months on land and at sea, with the main works expected to commence in 2022.