PNG, Queensland okay police deal

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 15th May 2013

 THE Papua New Guinea and Queensland governments have agreed to have up to 150 policemen in PNG by the end of year. 

This was agreed to at a meeting last night in Port Moresby between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and visiting Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, who arrived in the afternoon for a two-day visit.

The decision follows talks between O’Neill and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week on the need for Australian police to assist in capacity building of the PNG police force. Gillard committed A$50 million (K109 million) for a four-year assistance programme.

After the meeting with O’Neill at the Grand Papua Hotel, Campbell was to have attended a reception, hosted by the Port Moresby of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (POMCCI).

The premier is expected to address a breakfast hosted by the POMCCI at the Grand Papua Hotel early this morning, followed by a meeting with the Business Council of PNG then a visit to the Curtain Brothers shipping dockyard at Motukea near Port Moresby.

He is scheduled to have lunch with O’Neill at the Gateway Hotel and then visit the Bomana War Cemetery before leaving at 4pm.

According to AAP, Newman is travelling with a business delegation, seeking to strengthen links in agribusiness, resources, construction, infrastructure and education.

He will re-sign a memorandum of understanding on business co-operation between PNG and Queensland, which was originally signed in 1992.

“This will mark a new chapter in the business relationship between Queensland and Papua New Guinea,” a spokesman told AAP.

“PNG and Queensland both have relatively new governments but share a common desire to developing our regions and industries.”

The premier served in PNG while working as an army engineer in the late 1980s.

He is the third Australian leader to visit the country in recent weeks, following on from Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.