Australia helps set up Solomon police post

The federal government will help build a police outpost in the Solomon Islands as Canberra works to strengthen ties with Honiara.

Australia and China have engaged in tit-for-tat donations to the Solomon Islands police force with Canberra shipping automatic rifles and Beijing then sending two water cannon trucks and vehicles.

Australia's Department of Defence will deliver the outpost to house police and customs officials in a joint venture with the private sector.

Defence says it will support a secure and resilient region.

"The outpost will enhance Solomon Islands' border security and maritime surveillance capability while promoting economic development and stability," the department said in a statement.

Private contractor Reeves Icon and Hall will also upgrade an explosive ordnance disposal facility in Honiara.

The Solomon Islands has a large number of unexploded ordnance left over from the Second World War.

The Albanese government is increasing its diplomatic effort with the Solomons after accusing the former government of dropping the ball when the island nation signed a security deal with China.

Canberra maintains it is Honiara's security partner of choice despite officers from the Solomon Islands police force being taught how to handle security for large events during a visit to China.