25 Jun 2003

Incoming Australian Governor General says Australia must help struggling Pacific nations

4:05 pm on 25 June 2003

Australia's Governor General designate says the South West Pacific will face problems for many years to come.

Michael Jeffery, who will be sworn in August, has told ABC Radio that Australia has a responsibility to act.

A groundbreaking plan to rescue Solomon Islands from anarchy is expected to be approved by the Australian federal government today.

The proposal will go to the national security committee of Cabinet but details are unlikely to be announced before next week because the government wants the backing of the Pacific Islands Forum.

Australia has proposed sending a mission that includes police, military and a wide range of civilian experts.

On Monday Pacific Forum Foreign Ministers will meet in Sydney to consider Australia's plan.