30 Jun 2004

Australia and PNG to sign deployment deal

2:24 pm on 30 June 2004

The Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer will sign an agreement this afternoon allowing just under 300 Australian police, lawyers and public servants into Papua New Guinea.

He will sign the treaty with his PNG counterpart Sir Rabbie Namaliu during a lightning visit to Port Moresby.

Under the treaty, Australians sent to PNG under the enhanced cooperation program will have to abide by local laws or face prosecution.

The signing comes after months of delay over PNG's refusal to grant Australian personnel immunity as demanded by Canberra.