30 Mar 2005

PNG PM complains about security check at Brisbane airport

3:49 pm on 30 March 2005

A complaint by Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare about having to remove his shoes during a security check at Brisbane Airport has been referred to the foreign minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu.

Sir Michael has described the security check as an insult and says a formal complaint will be made to the Australian government.

According to the news agency, AAP, Sir Rabbie says the search appears to breach long-established protocols to ensure the prime minister is accorded proper courtesy when visiting or transiting through other countries.

But the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, has declined an apology, saying Australia's security procedures are now the way of the world and all visitors are required to meet the requirements.