12 Aug 2004

Australian police set to arrive in PNG within weeks

10:24 am on 12 August 2004

The first Australian police officers being sent to Papua New Guinea to help restore law and order and to build the resources of the local force should arrive within the next month.

About 230 police officers, and dozens of government officials are being sent under Australian aid deal worth about US$600 million.

The PNG Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, who's been in Apia for the Post Forum Dialogue, says he will return to Port Moresby via Canberra to complete the arrangements for the deployment with the Australian Government.

"We will be formalising the final documents on the programme, in terms of signing the fine instruments. And once that's done, the first deployment should begin, in the next month or two."