PM Morrison says Australia climate target to remain unchanged, despite Fiji's criticism

Scott Morrison with former rugby league player Petero Civoniceva and Executive Chair of Fiji National Rugby League Peni Musunanasi in Suva

The visits, during which Morrison held talks with his Vanuatu counterpart Charlot Salwai and Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, were seen as long overdue as an Australian premier had last visited Vanuatu in 1990 and Fiji in 2006.

In Vanuatu on Wednesday, Morrison promised Pacific nations Australia would directly fund projects tackling the impact of climate change.

Bainimarama said if Australia shifted away from its coal and mining industries it would help the survival of Pacific island countries threatened by rising sea levels.

The announcement in Fiji was attended by The Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Scott Morrison MP; Fiji Minister for Sport, Hon Praveen Bala; Executive Chairman, Fiji National Rugby League, Peni Musunamasi; NRL Legend and former Fiji International, Petero Civoniceva; Jaymes Boland-Rudder, NRL Head of Government and Community Relations; Fiji National Sports Commission Chairman, Peter Mazey; NSWRL General Manager - Football, Barrie-Jon Mather.

It said there needed to be a bipartisan approach to the welcome, with the opposition parties given the opportunity to have bilateral discussions with Mr Morrison on matters of common interest.

"We thank the Prime Minister, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for generously supporting and raising the profile of the lasting impact Rugby League is making for women, children and men throughout the Pacific", Mr Boland Rudder said.

More news: Iran Condemns Attack on Colombia Police Academy

"I pay respect in particular to Mr Bainimarama's global leadership on climate change and oceans", Morrison said.

"I imagine the Pacific is very grateful for conservative politicians coming over and giving them lectures about doing nothing on climate change and then saying "we want to be your friend".

Scott Morrison with former rugby league player Petero Civoniceva and Executive Chair of Fiji National Rugby League Peni Musunanasi in Suva.

The centre will be used to train militaries from around the Pacific islands.

Mr Morrison turned the first sod on the project in Nadi, and praised Fiji's proud record of providing the United Nations with peacekeeping troops.

While in Fiji, Morrison announced the Fiji-Australia Vuvale - or "family" - Agreement, under which leaders of the respective countries intend to hold more ministerial and high-level meetings.

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