Morrison to spruik military ties with Fiji

By AAP Newswire

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to visit a Fijian military base where he will spruik strong ties with the nation.

"We are living in a world of transition where a shifting of power dynamics is taking place," Mr Morrison said ahead of his Saturday tour of the Blackrock site near Nadi in Fiji.

"Which means our friendship and partnership with countries like Fiji, in our own backyard, is even more important."

Australia is helping to redevelop the site for an undisclosed amount, while the camp is expected to inject $27 million to the Fijian economy and create more than 500 jobs.

Mr Morrison turned the first sod at the Blackrock site when he visited Fiji in January on his first official trip to the country.

"Australia's support for our Pacific family on projects such as Blackrock will help build a region that is economically stable, strategically secure and politically sovereign."

The site is due to be completed by the end of next year and will include 17 buildings, a parade ground, a rugby field, connecting roads and infrastructure.

It will house a maximum of 300 people at any given time, and will be where Australian troops help train Fijians during pre-deployment for police assignments, peace-keeping and natural disasters response.

Mr Morrison says he hopes the two nation's can partner in more missions together.

Once such United Nations peace-keeping mission will be to the disputed region between Syria and Israel, with Australian and Fijian troops poised for deployment.

They are awaiting final approvals from the UN, which could occur in a matter of weeks. The mission is unrelated to events in Syria's north-east.

Mr Morrison's visit to Blackrock comes after spending the latter half of Friday in Suva for meetings with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.

A key outcome was Australia's decision to make it easier to import kava into Australia, doubling personal imports to four kilograms and putting commercial imports on the map.

Climate change and China were put on the backseat as the leaders focused on rugby league clashes with their hand-picked men's and women's sides.

The Australians won both games but the sportsmanship was apparent post-match, with the rival teams standing in a circle for a Fijian gospel, prayer and to cheer each other on.