3 Dec 2003

PNG Bougainville governor positive about Australian police deployment

11:29 am on 3 December 2003

The governor of the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville, John Momis, has welcomed plans by Australia to send police there.

A deal to send police and government officials is expected to be formalised in Adelaide next week.

PNG police officials have confirmed that the plan is for several hundred police to be sent to four hotspots early next year.

This would include 21 going to Bougainville.

Mr Momis says the police deployment is vital, with the last of the international peace monitors going at the end of this month, and a surge in lawlessness recently.

"The police operation is crucially important to demonstrate the semblance of law enforcement agencies present. Of course the law and order situation is aggravated by the fact that our administration is not too effective because of lack of funds. I think the presence of extra police from PNG, community police plus the engagement of Australian police will go a long way to combat lawlessness."

Bougainville governor John Momis