24 Aug 2005

PNG and Australia to continue aid talks in Canberra

8:32 pm on 24 August 2005

Papua New Guinea and Australia have reached a tentative agreement to cut back a huge Australian aid programme which was aimed primarily at restoring the capability of the PNG police.

All 160 Australian police left in May after the PNG supreme court found that their immunity provisions were unconstitutional.

The PNG internal security minister, Bire Kimisopa, has held talks with the Australian foreign minister, Alexander Downer, in Port Moresby and he says no decisions have been reached.

"Nothing has been finalised yet, so I hope in the next two weeks I'll be going down to Canberra with the police commissioner and well be sitting down with the Australians and hopefully we can work out based on what they have proposed we can put the nuts and bolts together, so hopefully we come up with an intervention package that is more consistent with our needs and complementary with our reform agenda that we are presently implementing."