Minister of Finance and Economic Management Gaetan Pikoune says Vanuatu will always stand with Australia in times of need as the country handed Vt10 million towards the Country Fire Association of Victoria and another Vt10 million to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service totaling of Vt20 million yesterday at the Ministry of Finance’s Conference room in Port Vila.
Both cheques were received by the Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu Jenny Da Rin.
During the handing over Minister Pikoune conveyed the Vanuatu Government’s heartfelt to the Government of Australia and the people on the devastating damage caused by the bush-fire which saw many lives lost, homes and farms destroyed and animals killed.
“This is a sign of solidarity and friendship.
“Australia always step up when Vanuatu is in need in times of disaster and developments.
“It is part of our contribution and appreciation on the friendship and solidarity we have,” Minister Pikoune said.
The High Commissioner to Australia applauded the Vanuatu Government’s support.
“Whatever the numbers say this is a contribution we know it comes from the heart and we are incredibly grateful for that.
“We helped each other in good times and bad times we stand together and this is a wonderful expression.
“So am very grateful on behalf of the Government and people of Australia am very proud to accept your contribution.”
Minister Pikoune handed a sympathy message at the end of the event to High Commissioner Da Rin from the Government of Vanuatu to the Government and people of Australia.
Apart from the Ceremony High Commissioner Da Rin wished Vanuatu a happy 40 years Independence Day ahead and thanked Minister Pikoune for the close working relationship they had working hand in hand during her term serving as High Commissioner to Australia in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu’s contribution yesterday could be the first ever support from a Pacific brother in the region.