Australia's foreign minister visits Bougainville

5:00 pm on 20 June 2019

Australia's Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, is visiting Bougainville today as part of a visit to Papua New Guinea.

The Australian reported Ms Payne's visit will be the first by an Australian minister since 2015, when PNG banned Australian officials from travelling to Bougainville over a diplomatic dispute.

It comes ahead of Bougainville's October referendum on independence from PNG, which Australia has put nearly $US8 million toward.

Ms Payne met with members of James Marape's government in Port Moresby on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Bougainville police dismissed suspicions over the presence of Australian Federal Police in the province, saying they were part of a support team ahead of the referendum.