31 Jul 2007

Australian police confirm 100,000 US dollars a month spent on empty apartments in PNG

10:11 am on 31 July 2007

Australian police have confirmed that they spend about 100,000 US dollars a month to lease two mostly empty apartment blocks in Papua New Guinea following the collapse of a planned police mission two years ago.

The accommodation was leased in Port Moresby in 2005 ahead of the planned deployment of 230 police to assist PNG authorities improve law and order.

The leases were maintained on the expectation that the outstanding issues would be resolved and the mission would go ahead.

Despite predictions that the problems would be speedily resolved, that hasn't happened and negotiations have continued.

Police say the total cost to Australian taxpayers so far is more than five million dollars.