9 Mar 2017

Australia re-confirms support for PNG

2:02 pm on 9 March 2017

Australia has re-confirmed its support for Papua New Guinea as it prepares to host the APEC leaders summit next year.

Australian foreign minister and Liberal Party deputy leader Julie Bishop speaking at the Coalition launch in Sydney.

Julie Bishop Photo: AFP

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and a team of five Australian government ministers have been in PNG this week for the 25th PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum.

They met with PNG Foreign Affairs Minster Rimbink Pato, Sports and Apec Minister Justin Tkatchenko, and National Planning and Monitoring Minister Charles Abel in Madang.

The two governments signed an understanding to work together to address issues of mutual interest.

Ms Bishop said Australia would be a major partner in preparations for APEC and would work closely with PNG to address business, investment and security issues in the country.

Mr Pato said that to ensure Australia's support was aligned to PNG's develop agenda, they would look to progress the partnership to "budget support through an agreed timeframe proposed for 2020".

Papua New Guinea foreign minister Rimbink Pato.

Rimbink Pato Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

"The approach for budgetary support will be on specific nominated sectors to achieve maximum impact," he said.

Mr Pato indicated there would be phasing out of the ministerial forums, to instead focus on bilateral engagements through "sectoral ministerial arrangements".

Other issues discussed during yesterday's meeting were border security management, the Manus detention centre, major road projects and 2018 Apec security arrangements.

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