5 Sep 2005

Australia emphasises need for Solomons to push ahead with reform during aid talks

6:50 am on 5 September 2005

Talks between the Solomon Islands government and Canberra have seen both sides re-affirm Australia's existing development assistance programme.

The Solomons Government set out its development priorities which include economic growth, strengthening health and education and an increased focus on rural livelihoods and support for provincial areas.

Canberra says it will continue with its programmes to support law and justice, economic reform and the strengthening of fiscal management.

But Australia emphasised the need for political will on the part of the Solomon Islands Government to carry out the numerous difficult reforms required, and for clearer prioritisation of development goals.

The Australian government has raised serious concerns about the sustainability of the Solomon Islands Government's own investments in the tertiary education sector.