Foreign Minister Bob Carr has announced Australia's new high commissioner to Fiji, ending a three-year hiatus caused by the expulsion of Australia's previous high commissioner in 2009.
Senator Carr said the decision to announce Margaret Twomey as Australian high commissioner to Fiji was an agreed outcome of trilateral talks with Fiji and New Zealand in Sydney in July this year.
'I welcome recent moves towards democracy in Fiji, including work towards an electronic electoral roll ahead of the elections scheduled for 2014,' Senator Carr said in a statement on Saturday.
'There is a long way to go, but recent steps forward deserve the recognition agreed upon in our talks in July.
'Australia will continue to encourage Fiji's return to democracy and the civilianisation of government positions.'
Ms Twomey, who is expected to take up her appointment in February next year, is a senior career officer with DFAT, and is currently Australian ambassador to the Russian Federation.
She has previously served as ambassador to East Timor, deputy head of mission at the Australian high commission, Suva, and in previous postings to London and Belgrade.
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop told ABC News 24 that she welcomed the appointment.
'I have been concerned for some time that Australia has been too strident in its approach,' Ms Bishop said.
'We do not condone what happened in terms of what happened with the walking away from democracy and the rule of law in Fiji.'
Ms Bishop said she believed Australia could assist Fiji back to the road to democracy.
'The Fijians are great friends of Australians and we want to see our relationship back on a normal footing as soon as possible.'
Australia is the largest foreign investor in Fiji and more than 300,000 Australian tourists visit the country every year, while 50,000 Fijians live and work in Australia.