16 Nov 2006

PNG police deny threats to strike over suspension

8:06 pm on 16 November 2006

Papua New Guinea's police union is denying it threatened to hold a nationwide strike over the suspension of the acting police commissioner.

The PNG Police Association was threatening industrial action unless the acting commissioner, Tom Kulunga, was reinstated in the job.

Mr Kulunga has been suspended over the Julian Moti affair, along with PNG's Defence Force Commander, Peter Ilau, and the government's Chief Secretary, Joshua Kalinoe.

Mr Moti, the suspended Solomon Islands Attorney General wanted by Australian police on child sex charges, was flown from PNG last month on a military plane.

The PNG Police Association's president, Robert Ali, now says the association accepts the national executive council's decision to suspend the acting commissioner.

Mr Ali says the association's appealed to the national government to immediately appoint a new police commissioner.

"Whatever decision the NEC has made is well within its prerogative to make the decision, we respect the decision. What we are concerned about as a union is stability within the police force."

Mr Ali says constant changes in the police force's senior hierarchy have affected morale.