10 May 2013

Easier entry to Australia for Papua New Guineans on the cards

3:11 pm on 10 May 2013

Australia's Prime Minister says it will soon be easier for Papua New Guineans to apply for visas to come to her country, but has stopped short of promising swift access.

Julia Gillard this morning told a breakfast event hosted by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry that a new online registration system will help reduce the lengthy process around visa applications.

PNG's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill told her at an official ceremony last night that PNG is frustrated at being excluded from a list of about 40 countries with swift travel access into Australia.

The Chamber's chief executive David Conn says Ms Gillard indicated that Australia is trying to move away from that list.

"There was no commitment to add PNG to that list. That's what they're saying and it's especially for online business applications, longer term visas for people going in and out of Australia, they were basically saying that (the online registration system) is going to solve most of these problems."

David Conn.