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By Jasmine Netzler

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, July 29) – Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiona Sailele Malielegaoi has opened a new Quarantine Division Operations Center in a ceremony at Mataautu Port.

The 1.5million tala (US$530,223) building will act as a one-stop shop for quarantine services in Apia improving customer satisfaction and increasing operational efficiency, a news release said.

The Quarantine Division Operations Centre is a part of a project being delivered by the Australian Government, through AusAID, to help improve quarantine services.

Australian High Commissioner Phillip Allars, speaking at the opening, recognized the devastating impacts disease has had on agriculture in Samoa.

He told guests this "highlighted the need for a more vigilant quarantine service, capable of protecting Samoa’s agriculture, environment and the long-term well being of its people."

The newly completed operations center being opened is one of a number of outcomes AusAID and the Government are working to achieve, the news release said. It is part of the 8.2 million tala (US$2,898,551) Samoa Quarantine Improvement Project.

Fletchers Construction built the center with a sense of local identity provided by students from the Leulumoega School of Fine Arts.

August 3, 2004

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