Minister Bishop arrives in PNG

The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Julie Bishop, has arrived in the country today.

She was officially welcomed by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill at the Sir Manasupe Haus.

Her three-day visit, from 20 to 22 March, will see her get briefed on Australia’s humanitarian response to the devastating earthquakes which have struck the Highlands region since 26 February.

She will now visit the Australian air force personnel, along with the Royal Australian Defence Force and the PNG Defence Force personnel, who now await her arrival at the Air Transport Wing, at ATS.

These are the teams on the ground for disaster emergency response activities around the affected areas.

In Port Moresby she will open three new buildings at the University of PNG and Institute of Public Administration, home to the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.

The Precinct is a joint initiative of the Papua New Guinea and Australian Governments to enhance the skills of PNG government officials.

She will meet with Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rimbink Pato, along with other ministers, to address a range of subjects, including immigration and health.

In Kavieng in New Ireland, she will launch a project to improve access to water and sanitation, which will be delivered through the Papua New Guinea Australia Partnership’s Incentive Fund program. The project will benefit up to 12,000 people in nine communities.

While in New Ireland she will meet with business and industry representatives to discuss Australia’s mining, agriculture and tourism investments in the province, and visit a hatchery and training facility which, with Australia’s support through ACIAR, is helping develop the marine aquaculture industry in PNG.

(Picture courtesy of Stanley Ove Jnr)

Imelda Wavik