Australian govt encouraged by progress made for the disabled

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011

AUSTRALIA is working closely with Papua New Guinea towards the ratification and implementation of the Convention on Rights of the Persons with Disabilities in PNG, an Australian government official says.
Parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles visited PNG this week and met with Community Development Minister Dame Carol Kidu about the work being done by the country to promote and protect the rights of people with disabilities.
“I am very encouraged about the progress being made on this issue here,” Marles said.
“The Australian government is providing technical assistance but it is important to raise awareness and help break down the barriers for people living with a disability.
“The ultimate aim of this process is to enable people with disabilities to parti­cipate more fully in their communities,” he said.
In March, the Australian government announced details of a four-year assistance programme to support the formation of a high-level working group and provide legal and technical support to the PNG government to ratify and implement the convention.
Ministerial level discussions included the PNG LNG project, and the help Australia was providing for the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund so the economic benefits of the project are shared across the country.
Australian companies have A$1.2 billion worth of contracts with the LNG project.
Marles discussed plans for the PNG Symposium, which will be held in Melbourne on May 27.