This audit would assess the effectiveness of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT’s) implementation of the project to lay 4,700 kilometres of high-speed undersea internet cable from Australia to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

The $137 million cable system was majority funded by Australia, with Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands contributing a third of the total project funding. The project was completed at the end of 2019.

A newly formed company, the Coral Sea Cable Company Pty Ltd, operates and maintains the cable system. The Australian Government and two companies linked to the governments of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea each own a one-third shareholding in the company. The audit would include an assessment of the extent to which the project’s anticipated social and economic benefits to partner governments and Australia’s national interest are being realised.