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.