19 Oct 2005

PNG prime minister confirms 40 Australian police will return

10:10 am on 19 October 2005

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, has confirmed that his country will accept 40 Australian police officers as advisors to the local force.

Sir Michael told the Australian National Press Club that PNG won't change his country's constitution to grant special protection to the Australian officers.

Sir Michael says there are problems with corruption within PNG's police force, which were highlighted in a recent report by the New York-based organisation Human Rights Watch.

However Sir Michael says the problem may be no better or worse than what occurs in many Australian state police forces.

He says in every society you have corruption, and PNG is doing everything possible to overcome and eradicate this problem.