6 Mar 2004

Australia promises more aid for Nauru

8:15 am on 6 March 2004

Australia will provide Nauru with a secretary of finance and may also appoint a police commissioner.

This is part of a new arrangement under which Australia says it is to provide Nauru with 17 million US dollars to help stabilise the country's economy and strengthen law and order.

The foreign minister Alexander Downer says the extra development assistance is part of a new memorandum of understanding signed with Nauru, which hosts a detention centre for asylum seekers Australia refuses to process on its own territory.

The minister says the memorandum of understanding is effective until June 2005 and signals an increased level of co-operation between the two countries.