But with a new government settling in and a federal election in the offing, it may not be until some time next year that the two get together, if Labor is returned to office.
Ministers from both governments were due to hold their annual forum early next month in Alotau.
But this event was downgraded by the Rudd government from a forum to a meeting because, according to officials, only “a handful of Australian ministers will be available”.
But there are indications of a more serious explanation.
Australia has been reviewing its relationship with a PNG government widely seen as corrupt, incapable of delivering basic services and experiencing serious governance problems.
A meeting between Somare and Gillard, if it occurs, would be interesting. PNG has only one female parliamentarian and has a significant and globally-recognised problem of violence against women.
In a statement, Sir Michael Somare, said Labor governments have always had constructive policies towards PNG. He hoped Ms Gillard would expand on the work of Kevin Rudd.
But the truth is that this work has fallen into a hole this year.