12 Aug 2004

Australian police now due in PNG on August 29th

1:34 pm on 12 August 2004

The first batch of Australian police in an assistance mission to Papua New Guinea are expected to arrive in just over two weeks a little over a fortnight's time.

The 19 are travelling as part of the Enhanced Co-Operation Programme which is worth 6-hundred million US dollars and will see 2-hundred and 30 Australian Federal Police patrolling troublespots in PNG.

Police will go on joint patrols with officers of the Royal PNG Constabulary, in urban areas.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Peter Niesi, says the vanguard will arrive on Bougainville.

"The first batch is expected to arrive on August the 29th. There's 19 of them, and they'll go into one of the Pacific's troublespots for a while, Bougainville, and it is hoped that over time there'll be a trickle of the others coming up, and by February next year, all of the 230 will be in place."

Under the assistance scheme, 64 Australian public servants will occupy positions in government departments and administrative offices.

They will work in the Solicitor General's Office, Prosecutor's Office, National and Supreme Courts, the Department of Justice and in prisons.

Up to half of the officials will work in economic roles including in the treasury and in departmental roles including the Health Ministry.

Up to 10 officials will work in border protection and transport security agencies.