Australia’s enduring ties with the Pacific have dominated the agenda ahead of Navy’s Sea Power Conference, with a gathering of regional maritime leaders in Sydney.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, joined delegates from almost a dozen Pacific nations yesterday to discuss a number of shared regional issues relating to maritime security.

Vice Admiral Noonan saidthe Pacific Maritime Security Program represents a long-term commitment by Australia to the Pacific.

“Navy has long enjoyed a deep and respectful relationship with our Pacific neighbours,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“Today’s meeting has focused us all on the importance of a strong, independent and secure region.”

Vice Admiral Noonan joined the Defence Minister Linda Reynolds to host the roundtable, which sought input from visiting delegates on how to further strengthen regional maritime security.

Australia’s rollout of Guardian-class Patrol Boats remains on schedule, with the vessels set to play an increasingly important role in maintaining security in the Pacific region.

The Pacific Maritime Security Program is just one of a number of initiatives contributing to Pacific security.

“Australia’s engagement in the Pacific is one of our highest priorities because the Pacific is our home,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

“This meeting, and the discussions we will have at Sea Power 2019 this week, will help all sides work together to maintain a prosperous region,” he said.