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Portfolio budget statements

2019-20 Australian aid budget: Pacific at a glance

Australian Official Development Assistance to the Pacific


*Pacific Regional includes: humanitarian, secondary schools scholarships, Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development and other Australian government departments operating in the Pacific.

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Pacific Step-up

In 2019–20, Australia will invest in a prosperous, stable and secure Pacific. Our new initiatives under the Pacific step-up will support stronger growth and resilience in the Pacific. The Office of the Pacific has been established to drive the Australian Government's implementation of the new investments in the Pacific.

The Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific will use grant funding and non-concessional loans to support high-priority transformative infrastructure in sectors such as telecommunications, energy, transport and water. This will provide resources for Pacific governments to construct and maintain infrastructure that is crucial to their economic growth and resilience.

Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme is growing, allowing more workers from the Pacific to take up semi-skilled opportunities in rural and regional Australia for up to three years. This will complement the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, which will provide the skills and qualifications needed by workers.

Through new partnerships within the education, sport and church sectors, we will deepen the personal and institutional links between Australian and Pacific communities. Australia will expand the successful Australia-Pacific BRIDGE School Partnerships Program and provide scholarships for Pacific students to attend Australian secondary schools. We will continue to support Pacific partners to build science and innovation capability and use new technology as drivers of future economic growth and social impact. These initiatives complement our existing support through the Australia Awards Scholarships that help to build national capacity and form an integral part of our people-to-people links with the Pacific.

As the largest grant donor to the Pacific, Australia will continue to work across sectors critical to driving inclusive economic development and reducing poverty. We will support Pacific countries to improve governance, boost economic opportunities for the private sector and build critical infrastructure to connect populations. We will contribute to the strengthening of law and justice institutions, with a focus on equal access to justice and community services.

We will work with our Pacific partners to improve human development by strengthening the quality of education and the range of skills-training options and by supporting access to critical health services. We will support our partners to assist the most vulnerable people in their communities, promoting gender equality and access for people with disability.

Australia recognises that Pacific countries are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and disasters. Australia is committed to working more closely than ever with our Pacific neighbours to address these shared challenges. We will spend $300 million over four years to 2020 to deliver climate and disaster resilient low carbon growth in the region. We are also mainstreaming climate and disaster resilience into Australian aid investments across the Pacific.

Australia has long been the lead contributor to humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts in the Pacific, and we remain ready to work with our Pacific partners to respond to future challenges and events.

Australia will continue to work closely with our Pacific partners to strengthen regional security, which is essential for sustainable development. We will expand our Cyber Cooperation Program in the Pacific to strengthen cybercrime prevention, prosecution efforts and cooperation. We will establish the Australia Pacific Security College to build the Pacific's capacity to respond to security issues. These efforts will be complemented by our broader initiatives, like our Pacific Fusion Centre.

Stepping-up for a more secure and prosperous Pacific

Economic growth

In partnership, better integrate our economies through transformative infrastructure, open access to Australian markets and trade facilitation

Coral Sea Cable System

Improving internet access and connectivity in PNG and Solomon Islands

Up to $200 million, 2017-18 to 2019-20

PNG economic and social infrastructure

Helping to provide electricity to 70 per cent of PNG's population by 2030

$100 million, 2018-19 to 2021-22

Nauru Port redevelopment

Ensuring the safe delivery of essential supplies

$18.25 million, 2017-18 to 2020-21


Promote rules-based order, by committing to good governance and stability in our region

Strengthening Pacific regional organisations

Through additional financial support

$43.2 million, 2019-20

Stability in Solomon Islands

Providing communities with access to credible justice systems

$32.7 million, 2017-18 to 2020-21

Pacific resilience

Delivering climate and disaster resilient low carbon growth in the region

$300 million, 2016-17 to 2019-20


Build and strengthen relationships

Pacific Secondary Schools Scholarships

Attendance at Australian secondary schools

$66 million, 2019-20 to 2022-23

Pacific Labour Scheme

Expanding labour mobility opportunities for Pacific Islanders

$70 million, 2018-19 to 2022-23

Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development

Improving political, social and economic opportunities for women

$320 million, 2012 to 2022

Last Updated: 20 May 2019
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