5 Mar 2008

PNG police to ban demonstrations during Rudd visit

2:50 pm on 5 March 2008

The police in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, say protests will not be tolerated during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd this week.

Mr Rudd is due to arrive in Port Moresby tomorrow and 400 extra police will be on duty.

This comes amid a dispute over the future of PNG's historic Kokoda Track as landowners living along part of the track have threatened to stage protests during the visit.

They want the PNG government to renew a mining exploration licence for Australian company Frontier Resources, which wants to mine copper and gold along a section of the track.

But Mr Rudd's government has concerns about the impact of mining activity on the track, and wants it protected by World Heritage listing.

The PNG police Chief Inspector, Andy Bawa, says no protests or trouble makers will be tolerated.

Mr Rudd and his PNG counterpart Sir Michael Somare will discuss the Kokoda Track, climate change, a Pacific workers scheme and aid funding during his visit.