Australia to increase military and police cooperation in Pacific

Australia's government is promising to build a new naval ship dedicated to the Pacific for natural disaster relief and other support.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a new foreign policy strategy for the Pacific region, including increased military cooperation.

But Defence Minister Christopher Pyne told Fairfax Media this strategy also includes a new vessel to operate semi-permanently in the south west Pacific.

He said the ship could assist with preparation for and response to natural disasters and other resilience support.

Australia will also strengthen its links with police forces in the Pacific.

A new Pacific facility is to be established at the Australian Institute of Police Management to train Pacific police leaders.

Mr Morrison said his government will establish annual defence, police and border security meetings.

He said Australia will also strengthen people-to-people links with Pacific security forces.