Daru gets liaison officer

Normal, Papua

The National, Monday October 21st, 2013

 A BORDER liaison officer will be stationed in Daru, acting Foreign Affairs secretary Alexis Maino says.

He said that was in accordance with the Torres Strait Treaty. 

Maino said an immigration office would be opened in Daru next year to help in managing the treaty and broader immigration issues.

He said that during the Torres Strait Joint Advisory Council meeting in Port Moresby last week in accordance with the treaty between Papua New Guinea and Australia. The Torres Strait encompasses borders of the two countries.

It is governed by the Torres Strait Treaty that was signed  in 1978 by then Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Fraser.

Maino said  the treaty came  into effect in 1985, defining the territorial boundaries between the two countries.

It established a protected zone to acknowledge and  protect the traditional way  of life and livelihood  of the traditional inhabitants, including traditional fishing and  free movement. 

He said it set out a comprehensive consultative framework for the management of the common maritime border areas.

The meeting was co-chaired by Cephas  Kayo, the director of the  Pacific, Australia and New Zealand branch of  the PNG Department of  Foreign Affairs, and Robert Fergusson, director of the PNG and  Torres Strait section of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.

Some key developments in the  past  12  months include the  refurbishment of  the  Daru Hospital, the establishment of  a TB Unit and the allocation of sea ambulances with assistance from AusAID.

It was noted that joint  border patrols between border agencies of the two countries saw a significant drop in cases of illegal movements of drugs,guns, people and alcohol across the border.