Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator, the Honourable David Feeney and Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Richard Marles MP, affirmed Australia’s commitment to the people of Papua New Guinea during an official visit last week.
Senator Feeney and Mr Marles met with a broad range of citizens and officials and participated in many events organised as part of “Australia Week”.
“The strength of the relationship between PNG and Australia is demonstrated by the cooperation between our nations on important matters of state. Our nations work together as partners in Defence, on economic issues, on education, health and environmental issues,” Senator Feeney said.
“The Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the PNG Defence Force (PNGDF) exemplify this partnership. Our two forces cooperate on a regular basis through training and exercises like Exercise OLGETA WARRIOR. As the national elections approach, the ADF is assisting the PNGDF to lease two medium helicopters in time for elections and for two years beyond. This capability will give the PNGDF additional air transport appropriate to the country’s rugged terrain.”
Mr Marles said PNG’s upcoming elections will be a defining opportunity for the people of PNG.
“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to hold elections on schedule. Australia is proud to be playing a supportive role to ensure the elections uphold PNG’s robust democratic tradition,” Mr Marles said.
Senator Feeney said Australia and PNG will continue their work together on strategic matters such as Defence White Papers and the Pacific Maritime Security Program.
“We have a proud shared history of friendship and cooperation which will endure,” Senator Feeney said.
Senator Feeney’s Office (02) 6277 3415
Mr Marles’ Office (02) 62 774330