Upgrade border monitoring system


I READ in your paper on Wednesday Prime Minister James Marape asking the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to assist PNG police find out details about the illegal landing of a plane outside Port Moresby last Sunday.
Marape also said the aircraft may have been used for drug trafficking.
The severity of this is not so much that an unknown aircraft crash landed at an unknown strip of land, but that it occurred just outside the capital.
It also points out how PNG lacks the capability to track unknown aircraft and mysterious marine vessels that keep on passing through our borders.
It shows the negligence of PNG authorities and governments over the years.
A monitoring system should have been installed years ago in our border provinces – from Western to Milne Bay, to Bougainville and up to New Ireland and then to Manus and over to West Sepik.
These border provinces must have specialised border posts with modern equipment and enough personnel to track aircraft and marine vessels as well as individuals passing crossing our borders.
We cannot rely on the AFP or the Australian government to monitor our borders.
This is our country and we must provide the resources to do that job.
It is my view too that the Border Development Authority is a Government agency that has not been utilised and funded enough to oversee some of those responsibilities.
And again, I raise the point that our PNG Defence Force and navy need to be better equipped to effectively police our borders.
They must be given modern patrol boats as well as two surveillance planes to respond to situations where foreign vessels are illegally crossing our borders.
Those surveillance planes and patrol boats can also be used in search and rescue operations as in disasters at sea as the mv Rabaul Queen incident in 2012.
It is time the PNG Government do something to equip our agencies to protect our people from foreigners who are bringing in illegal items like drugs or guns or deadly viruses.
We cannot expect Australia or other nations to do what we are supposed to do.


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