20 Dec 2004

Solomon Islands cabinet to discuss Australian offer to replace commissioner

1:27 pm on 20 December 2004

The Solomon Islands cabinet is today discussing the offer by the Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, to provide a police commissioner to the country.

The offer is reported to have been accepted by the Solomon Islands prime minister, Sir Allen Kemakeza, but the P.M.'s secretary says the matter isn't finalised and cabinet is discussing the issue today.

The term of the current commissioner, Bill Morrell, expires at the end of this month.

Mr Morrell was unavailable for comment.

Police say he was aware that his contract was ending but he was unsure whether he'd be continuing in the job.

His position was funded by the European Union and there had been a request by the Solomon Islands government that this be renewed.

But, this position is reported to have changed and Sir Allen said he would accept the offer made by Mr Downer during talks last week.

Mr Downer had said he was certain Australia could find a good replacement for Mr Morrell.