AUSTRALIA’S parliamentary secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Duncan Kerr is in Port Moresby to confer matters regarding the bilateral relationship of both countries.
Mr Kerr, who arrived yesterday, said his visit underlined the importance that Australia placed on the bilateral relationship with Papua New Guinea.
He said the current visit followed strong outcomes that were cooperatively achieved at the 19th Australia-PNG Ministerial forum held in Brisbane earlier this year, and with that of the recent 40th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Cairns.
Mr Kerr would be travelling to Western and Milne Bay provinces to examine Australia’s provincial and sub-national level assistance programme that had underlined Australia’s strong commitment to supporting improved governance and service delivery throughout PNG.
In addition, Mr Kerr would take the opportunity to reiterate Australia’s engagement with PNG regarding A$14.9 million (K36.4 million) committed by Australia for the Kokoda Trail safety measures under the Joint Understanding on the Kokoda Trail and Owen Stanley Range signed last year.
“My visit occurs at a time when our two countries are committed in enhancing their aid relationship through a review of the Australia-Papua New Guinea Treaty on development cooperation,” Mr Kerr said, adding that he hoped to help cement the strong and vital relationship which underpinned this arrangement.