Pato thanks Aust for support


SPOUSES of Australian diplomatic staff will be allowed to work in Papua New Guinea in a wide range of fields, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato says.
Pato said it was a way of saying thanks to Australia for the many assistance and support it had provided for PNG, including the hosting of the Apec Leaders’ Summit last November.
“You offered before we had even the chance to ask. You came with your expertise, your money, your experience,” he said.
“You worked with us and our other friends to ensure Apec was the magnificent success it became.
“Australia stood by us from the beginning on the land and at sea. How wonderful it was to see HMAS Adelaide on guard within sight of Apec Haus.
“Australia also united the Pacific by flying other Pacific leaders here, and escorted the aircraft with the RAAF fighter jets.
“The symbolism was clear. Australia is always by our side.”
Pato listed projects as examples of Australian cooperation including electrification projects, Manus port facilities, support for the Bougainville referendum, education and training buildings and programmes, the undersea cable and development expenditure contributing to health, education, commercial, sport, and cultural services.
“I hope and trust this relationship will become even closer as our economy develops and our own activities widen to the benefit of both countries,” he said.
Australia Day was celebrated last Friday in Port Moresby and attended by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis, governors and MPs.