15 Oct 2010

Australia rejigs PNG aid delivery

1:43 pm on 15 October 2010

Australia is to continue to provide technical support to PNG in areas such as the multi-billion-dollar Liquid Natural Gas project, despite plans to cut back on the number of consultants funded by aid money.

The Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says he has advised his PNG counterpart, Sam Abal, of the government's decision to reduce by more than a third the almost 500 Australian advisers.

Australia's new Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Affairs, Richard Marles, has just visited PNG and he says there is demand for these advisors.

But he says there is a feeling money is being spread too thinly and aid is likely to be re-directed:

"Education is obviously key, for example in PNG for example the provision of textbooks in relation to education that has had some really positive outcomes and I think looking at those programmes that have been successful and building on them is a pretty important principle as to how we go about our aid."

Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles