18 Jul 2003

Solomon Islands parliament votes unanimously for intervention force

10:25 am on 18 July 2003

An Australia-led force of police and military personnel is set to go into Solomon Islands next week after getting formal approval from the nation's parliament last night.

The parliament unanimously passed legislation defining the role and powers of the 2,000-strong mainly Australian and New Zealand force.

The new law also obliges the Solomons government to cooperate with efforts to balance its books.

Around 100 specialists, mostly Australian and New Zealand civil servants, will move into senior roles in the government, including the central bank, the prison system and the judiciary.

The intervention force also includes personnel from other Forum countries including Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

The Fiji contingent of 123 soldiers flies to Townsville today on its way to the Solomons