21 Aug 2004

Australian officials arrive for Papua New Guinea mission

8:27 am on 21 August 2004

A group of Australian public servants has been deployed to Papua New Guinea to work for key government departments.

The ten-strong group arrived in Port Moresby yesterday to prepare for work in offices including Internal Revenue, the Department of Finance and the Treasury.

They are the second and largest batch so far to travel to Papua New Guinea, under the so-called Enhanced Co-operation Programme, which will see up to 60 Australian officials working in PNG's civil service.

The chief secretary to the Papua New Guinea prime minister, Joshua Kalinoe has told the new arrivals that he expects them to make improvements in efficiency.

Mr Kalinoe told the officials that they were expected to contribute towards the development of the government's policy, in order to meet the economic, social and political needs of the people.

The Australian High Commissioner to PNG Michael Potts describes the members of the group as experienced and committed public servants.

The first group of Australian police to be sent to PNG under the US$600 million assistance mission are expected to arrive next week.