2 Feb 2004

PNG parliament may sit later this month and give the go ahead for Australian police

7:33 am on 2 February 2004

There are expectations in Papua New Guinea that a special session of Parliament will be called this month that might end a delay in deploying Australian police.

The Australian team, which is to help build capacity in the police and other government agencies, was to have started arriving before the end of last year.

But the PNG Parliament has yet to pass the authorising legislation.

It has adjourned until the end of June.

, Parliament may need to meet within weeks once a court case challenging the appointment of the new Governor General, Sir Pato Kakaraya, finishes.

As our correspondent, Peter Niesi, reports the sitting would be needed to swear in Sir Pato or elect another candidate.

"Which ever way the decision goes, parliament may need to be recalled, and that is very much dependent on the government's advise to the speaker, and the speaker will then call the special session of parliament. It is quite possible that if that does happen, the government may use the loophole in the prolonged adjournment to pass those necessary legislative admendments to bring up the large contingent of the Australian cops."