28 Jul 2004

PNG parliament approves Australian deployment

6:23 am on 28 July 2004

The Papua New Guinea's parliament has passed legislation giving effect to a program to deploy Australian police and public officials in PNG.

This comes seven months after Australian and Papua New Guinea ministers agreed on the plan.

Under the so-called enhanced cooperation program, Australian police and judicial experts will work with their PNG counterparts within the PNG government, policing and justice systems.

Representatives from both countries will soon meet to form a joint steering committee, which will oversee implementation of the ECP, with the next tranche of Australian officials to arrive in mid-August.

The Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, says the first Australian police will arrive on Bougainville in early September, following a week of training in Port Moresby.