Joint support to improve Hela’s community justice, safety

Australia, the Hela Provincial Government and ExxonMobil PNG announced on Tuesday (25 August) the renewal of joint support to improve community justice and safety for the people of Hela Province.

This was sealed by Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Hela Governor Philip Undialu and ExxonMobil PNG (EMPNG) Managing Director, Andrew Barry, renewing a joint commitment to support the improvement of law and justice services for Hela’s communities. Australia and EMPNG are supporting this commitment by co-funding a community justice adviser in Hela Province.

This arrangement continues a successful collaboration since 2014 with a community justice adviser working closely with the Hela Provincial Government in Tari. The arrangement has enabled: a series of peace consultations and awareness activities; the training of almost 400 village court officials and land mediators; the formation of the Hela Provincial Law and Justice Committee; the forthcoming construction of the Tari Family and Sexual Violence Unit; and the development of a draft Hela Peace Management Strategy.

In giving his full support, Governor Undialu said: “My administration stands committed to supporting the important work this partnership seeks to deliver for a just, safe and secure society for the people of Hela. With the support of the Australian government and ExxonMobil, we can move forward and achieve our development priorities.”

“Hela province continues to face longer-term challenges,” High Commissioner Philp said.

“This is an excellent example of the Hela Provincial Government, business and development partners working together to strengthen law and justice service delivery and make communities safer.”

Barry noted during the signing ceremony that local area challenges require ongoing collaboration between the public sector, industry and civil society.

“We are extremely proud of our collaboration with both PNG and Australia in promoting positive outcomes for the people of Hela, and for all citizens of this great country. To be in PNG is a privilege, and we remain steadfast in our support for the communities within which we work.” 

The Australian government supports the Government of Papua New Guinea to strengthen law and justice service delivery through the PNG-Australia Partnership.

(From left: ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director, Andrew Barry, Hela Governor, Philip Undialu and Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp, exchanging documents at the signing ceremony. Photo Credit: ExxonMobil PNG)

Press release