10 May 2013

Australia and PNG talking about extending police links

3:16 pm on 10 May 2013

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, says more Australian police personnel could be sent to Papua New Guinea.

Ms Gillard, who is on a 2 day visit to PNG, says one of Australia's roles in PNG is to see a strengthening of police.

In 2005 a comprehensive scheme that saw dozens of Australian police sent to PNG, the Enhanced Co-operation Package, was abandoned after a court ruling that the Australian officers would not have immunity from prosecution in the local courts.

But Ms Gillard has told PNG media her government wants more police co-operation.

She also says despite PNG's brightening economic prospects the country will need aid assistance for some time.

Ms Gillard says even though modern PNG is growing and changing there is still work to do to realise the Millennium Development Goals and to give the people of PNG opportunities through areas such as education.