PNG-Aussie transport ties boosted

National, Normal

THE transport relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea received a boost with agreement reached on strengthening transport safety and security in PNG.
The agreement came with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Transport Cooperation at the conclusion of the inaugural meeting of Australia-PNG senior transport officials in Brisbane on Sunday.
The MoU was signed by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government secretary Mike Mrdak and the PNG Department of Transport secretary Henry Parakei.
The MoU, first flagged at the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum meeting in June, will underpin a joint work programme on key PNG transport priorities in the areas of air traffic management, safety regulation, accident investigation and transport policy.
The work programme will be delivered through arrangements between the Australian government transport agencies, including the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Airservices Australia, and their PNG counterparts.
The MoU would build on work already being done by Infrastructure portfolio officials deployed to PNG and under existing AusAID-funded transport projects such as the A$280 million transport sector support programme and the upcoming A$50 million Australia-PNG transport infrastructure schedule of the partnership for development.