8 Nov 2004

Australia upgrades its travel advisory to Bougainville

8:38 pm on 8 November 2004

The Australian government has warned Australians to stay away from a rebel no-go zone on the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has upgraded its travel advisory on Bougainville and said Australians travelling there should notify authorities in the provincial capital Buka on arrival.

It says Australians should avoid travelling to the no-go zone around the abandoned Panguna gold and copper mine in the mountainous area of central Bougainville.

Several Australians and other foreigners have travelled to the no-go zone, which is controlled by secessionist rebels, in recent months.

But DFAT says landowners in Bougainville had requested that outsiders stay away from the area around the old mine.

It says the Bougainville Administration had warned Australians visiting the no-go zone controlled by secessionist leader Francis Ona that they would have their passports seized once they tried to leave the island.