PNG to review border arrangement

11:23 am on 17 July 2015

Papua New Guinea's prime minister has announced a review into the country's border arrangement with Australia, which he says has unfairly affected many Torres Strait villages.

Thursday Island in Torres Strait, Papua New Guinea

Thursday Island in Torres Strait Photo: Feral Arts

Peter O'Neill says the review of the Torres Strait border arrangement will look to restore traditional rights.

He says when Australia drew the border when granting independence to PNG in 1975, it also acquired ownership and user rights that belonged to Trans Fly villages.

He says the Torres Strait border arrangements suddenly extinguished the hunting and fishing rights of villages that had relied on them for thousands of years, and left many with no income and a bleak future.

Mr O'Neill says he will present a proposal to cabinet to appoint a committee to properly inquire and report on historical injustices relating to the Torres Strait border treaty.

He says he hopes the Australian Government will take heed of the plight of the Trans Fly villages, and that reviewing the arrangement will not impact Australia's economy or border security.