No arrangement to send soldiers to Aust: Namah


OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah claims the Government does not have an arrangement to send 1,000 soldiers and firefighters to Australia to help with firefighting.
He said this on Monday following an announcement by Prime Minister James Marape to send them at the request of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“There is no arrangement in place to send 1,000 troops and this is confirmed by the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby,” Namah said in a statement.
“Are any of these he intends to send have any experience in bushfire disasters? Otherwise, we are going to have some serious casualties on our side as well.
“Have any logistics been worked out? Have any plans been made? How will the troops get there and how will they be housed? The answer is nothing has been arranged.”
The prime minister in a statement on Monday pledged the government’s support to deploy PNG Defence Force personnel to help fight bushfires and rebuild devastated communities in Australia.
Marape said the magnitude of the devastation left by the fires was something that the Pacific had not seen before.
The prime minister, his department heads and heads of statutory agencies in a meeting in Port Moresby on Monday took a minute’s silence to remember the lives lost to fires in Australia.