9 May 2005

PNG police drop demand for Australian police pull-out

1:20 pm on 9 May 2005

Police in Papua New Guinea have dropped their demand that Australia withdraw all of its police officers working in PNG under a multi-million dollar aid programme.

More than 300 members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary decided last week to issue an ultimatum to PNG police bosses that the withdrawal be arranged.

But a spokesman for Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, says the ultimatum was dropped following a meeting between Sir Michael, the Police Commissioner, Sam Inguba, and the Police Association president Robert Ali late last week.

The spokesman says police concerns about pay and conditions will be addressed by police managers, but Sir Michael has ruled out ordering the Australian Assisting Police out.

A Supreme Court challenge to the Enhanced Cooperation Programme under which the AAP operates is yet to be heard.

The association president, Robert Ali, says he's pleased police concerns will be addressed.