Australia supporting Fiji with flood alleviation project

  • Joint media release
  • Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women
  • The Hon Alex Hawke MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Assistant Defence Minister

Australia is working in partnership with Fiji to mitigate the impact of floods on the major population centre of Nadi in a joint effort to save lives, reduce homelessness and protect the local economy.

The Nadi Flood Alleviation Project will reduce the effects of these regular natural disasters on the commercial centre of Nadi town and on the Nadi flood plain.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said this important infrastructure project has been identified as a priority by the Government of Fiji, and Australia is proud to work in partnership with our Fijian vuvale.

“There have been 26 major floods in the Nadi catchment since 1991, which have claimed lives, caused homelessness and wreaked damage on the economy,” Minister Payne said. “Australia’s investment will support Fiji’s efforts to save lives and alleviate future losses to local households and businesses, as well as the broader Fijian economy.”

Infrastructure will play an important role in our region’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in creating jobs and opportunities within the private sector.

Australia will provide up to $5 million in financing to support essential catchment management and upstream flood mitigation work. The investment under the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) complements work by the Government of Japan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, said the Nadi Flood Alleviation Project would bring tangible economic and environmental benefits to Fiji.

“Nadi has particular economic significance as the gateway to Fiji, and home to Fiji’s major international airport and several large resorts. Nadi was the port of entry for nearly 900,000 visitors in 2019 – a large proportion of which are Australian. Flooding in Nadi town is a significant issue,” said Minister Hawke.

As the biggest contributor of development assistance in the Pacific, Australia will remain a steadfast partner in building climate and disaster resilience through COVID-19 economic recovery.

The AIFFP supports quality infrastructure in Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste. This broader $2 billion infrastructure initiative significantly boosts Australia’s support for high priority projects in the region in areas such as telecommunications, energy, transport and water.

Australia and Fiji have a strong partnership and a long history of cooperation, as well as shared interests and values. Australia is committed to deepening those ties by stepping up and working with our regional partners to create a stronger Blue Pacific.

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