MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE AUSTRALIA

D8
11 June 2000

Solomon Islands: Return of Evacuees to Australia

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed today that next of kin of registered Australians on board HMAS Tobruk had been notified that they were safely aboard.

HMAS Tobruk is now en route to Cairns.

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) has activated the Commonwealth Government Reception Plan for those evacuated from the Solomon Islands. They will work in conjunction with the Queensland State Government to operate a reception centre.

On arrival, evacuees will undergo Customs, Immigration and quarantine processing, but will also be provided with a range of welfare, travel, medical and accommodation facilitation.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade indicated that evacuees would be accommodated at Federal Government expense on the first one or two nights after arrival to assist them in planning for their future movements.