3 Oct 2005

Canberra's aid to PNG will be high on the agenda when Sir Michael Somare visits this week

7:05 pm on 3 October 2005

There are hopes that Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's visit to Australia this week might resolve the ongoing impasse over Canberra's police aid to PNG.

The Enhanced Co-operation Programme, under which up to 200 Australia police were to be deloyed to PNG, ended in May after a court ruled the Australian officers did not have immunity.

A revised plan to deploy just 30 officers has been deemed insufficient by the PNG Government..

PNG political scientist Professor Allan Patience says Sir Michael and Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, are likely to try and resolve this.

"Both sides seem to have given some ground on that, some one would hope that this very important relationship will be brought to a new level of maturity. It's been conducted badly on both sides for a very long time now, for the last couple of years, and it is time to recognise that it is bad for both countries."