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Australian Navy Delivers Aid For Samoa Recovery

Australian Navy Delivers Aid For Samoa Recovery

The Royal Australian Navy’s heavy landing ship HMAS Tobruk yesterday arrived in Apia, the capital of Samoa, to deliver humanitarian aid coordinated by AusAID as part of the ongoing support to Samoa and Tonga following the tsunami that devastated parts of both island nations on 30 September.

The Samoan Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, and members of his cabinet were at the wharf yesterday to greet the Australians.

“We have received enormous help from Australia and New Zealand; $10 million Australian dollars. That’s a lot of money considering the present crisis that every country is having to face and we are extremely grateful,” the Prime Minister said. “We thank the Australian Government and people for their generosity.”

HMAS Tobruk’s Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Thompson, says the ship is loaded with over 500 tonnes of equipment and donations from Australia to assist Samoa and Tonga rebuild essential services damaged in the tsunami.

“Since leaving Sydney, HMAS Tobruk has steamed almost 3500 nautical miles, so it’s been a very long trip, however now that we are here we feel enormously proud to be part of this aid package,” Commander Thompson said.

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Matt Anderson, says the donation of relief aid including the fire truck from the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade will assist the communities greatly.

“Having the latest equipment means they can bring the latest in fire fighting techniques to bear as soon as they’re able to; it’s a capacity to save lives,” Mr Anderson said. “I’m very, very proud of the relationship between the people of Melbourne and the people of Samoa.”

The AusAID relief package delivered by Tobruk also contains heavy earthmoving equipment and construction supplies to assist with the rebuilding operation, humanitarian aid and other items donated by non-government organisations in Australia. It also includes a large consignment of donated goods from the Australian community that was coordinated by the Samoan and Tongan High Commissions in Australia.

The delivery of this aid will bring the total assistance by the Australian Government, non government organisations and Australian communities to Samoa and Tonga to $13 million.

Tobruk will sail for Tonga in the coming days to continue this mission.


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