24 Aug 2012

PNG Foreign Minister defends ban on foreign media covering detention camp

3:43 pm on 24 August 2012

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister has defended the move to ban foreign journalists entering the country to report on the establishment of an asylum seeker detention camp for Australia.

PNG officials have been finalising arrangements with counterparts from Canberra over the reopening of a facility on Manus island for the processing of asylum seekers trying to reach Australia.

The minister, Rimbink Pato, says a temporary ban on foreign journalists is necessary while the country sorts through internal issues related to the re-opening of the centre.

"There's no need for the access. PNG's a culture where we discuss, negotiate and compromise. So we don't want any misreporting, as a consequence of which issues could be misinterpreted by our own people as well as by the outside world. And to work out those issues, we'll do it ourselves first and then - when the time is right - everyone will be invited to come and see what we've achieved."

Rimbink Pato