27 Jan 2004

PNG committee to draw up laws to protect Australian police

3:05 pm on 27 January 2004

A committee led by Papua New Guinea's chief secretary, Joshua Kalinoe, has begun drawing up legislation to protect Australian personnel to be deployed in the country.

The Internal Securities Minister, Bire Kimisopa, says the legislation will be ready soon but parliament has been adjourned to the end of June.

This means the arrival of the 250 strong Australian police force will be further delayed and may now not go ahead until the special law has been passed.

The National newspaper says some government officials are concerned that a foreign police force would be granted immunity from being dealt with under PNG laws.

The Central Agencies Co-ordinating Committee will identify and prepare legislative and regulatory changes to implement the 5 year Australian aid package for policing in PNG approved last month.