Julie Bishop

New Consulate-General will bolster partnership: Bishop

This was the remark from Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Julie Bishop, during the Consulate-General’s official opening yesterday.

“Lae is Papua New Guinea’s second largest commercial centre and a gateway to the dynamic economies of Asia and the Pacific,” stated Minister Bishop.

“It will assist the Australian Government in building even stronger links with the many Australian businesses operating in this growing part of Papua New Guinea, including in mining, agriculture, manufacturing and retail.

DWU prepares for Minister Julie Bishop

Dressed in purple, in commemoration of International Women’s Day, students are busy preparing for the Australia Foreign Affairs Minister’s visit.

DWU SRC social events coordinator, Rhonda Mirr, told Loop PNG that Minister Julie Bishop is expected on campus at around 3pm.

“Everyone is in purple, especially the females,” says the final year health management student.

“It’s pretty lively here. Everyone’s in a ‘cleaning-up mode’.”

Minister Bishop in PNG for meet

She will be here to co-chair the 25th Australia–Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum in Madang, together with Papua New Guinea's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Rimbink Pato.

In a statement, Bishop said: “I will be joined by an Australian delegation comprising the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

“This ministerial representation underlines our comprehensive engagement with Papua New Guinea.

Bishop confirms Rudd seeking nomination for UN secretary-general

It brings to an end months of speculation over Mr Rudd's bid for the role, currently held by Ban Ki-Moon.

Mr Ban's successor will take office on January 1, 2017.

Ms Bishop said it would be a matter for the Cabinet.

"Kevin Rudd has requested that the Australian Government nominate him and, as the Prime Minister has indicated on a number of occasions, that'll be a matter for Cabinet," she told Sky News.

Australia signs new aid partnership with PNG

The partnership will look to advance PNG's social and economic development, and deliver vital infrastructure including roads to ensure services reach more people and improve access to markets.

Women's economic empowerment will be a key focus of the partnership which also aims to address PNG's chronic family and sexual violence issues, enabling more women to break the poverty cycle.

These were central to discussion at last week's 24th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum in Canberra.

Julie Bishop refuses to elaborate on departure of Stokes

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) confirmed this week that Deborah Stokes departed her PNG post and said she would be taking up another overseas assignment.

Bishop did not give any further details about the unexpected departure when asked at a media conference in Melbourne on Friday.

“These are opportunities for a new high commissioner to be appointed to Papua New Guinea and for the current high commissioner to take up another appointment, and this happens all the time in our missions,” Bishop said.