3 Feb 2014

Fiji delays MSG police academy project

2:23 pm on 3 February 2014

Fiji's defence minister, Joketani Cokanasiga, says plans for a Melanesian Spearhead Group regional police training facility are on the back burner until after this year's election.

The proposed facility is to be set up in Fiji and last month, the Indonesian government gave Fiji half a million US dollars to help with its establishment.

But Vanuatu's newspaper, The Independent, reports Mr Cokanasiga as saying there is no date for when the facility will start operations.

He says it would cost about 10 million US dollars and his government has other priorities this year, namely the election, scheduled for September.

Mr Cokanasiga says Fiji already has a facility it could use for the purpose and after the elections the government will look at that.

The proposal is to train police from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands.