PNG relaxes ban for Aussie tourists

The National Government will be following up on discussions with Australia and New Zealand next month for visa-on-arrival to be granted to PNG citizens.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Rimbink Pato, said this when announcing the removal of the ban on visa-on-arrival for Australian passport holders.

“We are working through those issues on visa’s for Papua New Guinea citizens, and the Prime Minister has discussed this, I’ve also discussed this with the Australian Foreign Minister as well as the New Zealand foreign minister, so ill be following on those discussions in the meetings in early October as well,” Pato said.

The issue of visa-on-arrival, especially between, PNG and Australia is one, which has tested the bi-lateral relations between both countries.

In 2015 Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced a cabinet decision to remove visa on arrival to Australian citizens following their stance not to grant PNG the same privilege.

However, the removal of the ban which came into effect on July 5, 2016, is exclusive to Australian passport holders travelling to PNG for tourism purposes only.

“They will be so entitled on that basis to arrive and obtain visa at Jackson’s (International) Airport, Gurney Airport (Milne Bay), Mt Hagen (Kagamuga) Airport and Tokua Airport in East New Britain,” said Pato.

Cedric Patjole