One of Australia’s closest Pacific neighbours, Fiji, has this week been battered by wind, rain and severe flooding resulting from Cyclone Josie.

Cyclone Josie, a Category 1 storm, brought significant rainfall, causing widespread flooding. Sadly, at least four people have been confirmed dead.

Having faced the impacts of Cyclone Winston just over two years ago, this is yet another catastrophic event for Fiji and the Fijian people.

The flood damage is extensive, particularly in Western Fiji and the popular tourist hub of Nadi, where the flooding hit hardest. In addition to the human toll, the flood damage will have a significant impact on homes, businesses, agriculture and the tourism industry.

Australia has a strong relationship with Fiji and supported the recovery efforts in Fiji following Cyclone Winston in 2016.

Greenway also has a strong connection to Fiji. As of the 2016 Census, 2,390 local Greenway residents were born in Fiji, with a further 1,705 residents with Fijian ancestry.  

My thoughts go out to everyone affected by the severe flooding in Fiji caused by Cyclone Josie. This is a devastating blow for Fiji, which has still been recovering in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston in 2016.

This is a trying time for the Fijian community, including for local residents of Fijian heritage who are concerned about loved ones and friends.

I spoke in Parliament in 2016, following Cyclone Winston, about Australia’s longstanding relationship with Fiji. As Fiji again enters a period of disaster recovery, I trust Australia will be there to provide support. I encourage people to help where they can with assistance appeals and initiatives which I know will follow. .

It is well-known that I have a personal connection to Fiji, which is where my mother was born and where my parents lived for many years.