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Australian PM to meet Pacific Island dignitaries
5:29 pm GMT+12, 10/07/2018, Australia

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will address a media luncheon in Brisbane today before meeting Pacific Island dignitaries and the company bosses responsible for building undersea data cables.
 
Turnbull will first meet Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill and then Solomon Islands PM Rick Houenipwela this afternoon.
 
Afterwards, the trio will greet executives from Vocus Group who will build the Coral Sea cable system which Australia will largely fund after concerns over Chinese firm Huawei's involvement in the project.
 
Australia has invested $136 million (US$101 million) in the undertaking while there is also financial co-contribution from PNG and Solomon Islands.
 
World Bank research estimates better internet access could grow GDP by more than $US5 billion and create close to 300,000 new jobs in the Pacific by 2040.
 
The cable project is due to be completed by the end of 2019.
 
Prior to the meeting Turnbull will address the Queensland Media Club before taking questions for half an hour.

SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS


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