22 Sep 2003

Australia's Foreign Minister says Canberra needs a stable neighbour in PNG

8:34 am on 22 September 2003

Australia's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, says it is in his country's interest to ensure that Papua New Guinea is prosperous and stable.

In the Australian newspaper, he said his twelth visit to Port Moresby as Foreign Minister was overwhelmingly positive.

He said the main objective of the framework he negotiated with PNG was to help the country effectively use the 80 per cent of income that did not come from aid.

Mr Downer said PNG had to tackle serious issues such as financial and bugetary governance.

He said fixing law and order is seen as a vital pre-conditon for re-establishing investor confidence.