28 Jan 2019

Solomons needs wharf upgrade for new Aust police boats

9:56 am on 28 January 2019

Solomon Islands police will have to extend a wharf to accommodate two new patrol boats from Australia.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley.

Solomon Islands' police commissioner Matthew Varley. Photo: Solomon Islands UNDP

The Regional Assistance Mission departed nearly two years ago but Australia still has 40 advisors mentoring police staff, two navy personnel helping its maritime unit and an army officer working with the police on ordnance disposal.

Police commander Mathew Varley, who was speaking after an Australian security delegation visited the country last week, said such support was critical to the security of the Solomons.

He said nowhere was this more apparent than in the provision of two new police patrol boats later this year.

"The new Guardian class patrol boat is some ten metres longer and bigger than the current patrol boats. It has a very large spread of capabilities and a much larger range of sailing. It's so big that we are actually going to have to upgrade the wharf down at maritime base to fit it."

Mathew Varley also said Australia may provide security support for the upcoming elections.