Despite rumours, ban on Aussie arrival visas did not happen
20 January 2014
A BAN ON GRANTING AUSTRALIANS visas on arrival in Papua New Guinea – rumoured to have been imposed from today – did not come into force.
PNG’s social media has been running hot with stories that today was the day Aussies would be turned back at the front door unless they got off the plane with the appropriate paperwork, but at Border Control it was business as usual.
The PNG Cabinet has already agreed the ban, which is in retaliation for the Australian government’s strangle grip on Papua New Guineans seeking to get visas to enter Australia.
The ban is now said to be awaiting final sign-off from prime minister Peter O’Neill before it is enforced.
Until now a 30 to 60-day tourism visa can be issued upon arrival in Port Moresby.
But a report just in from Port Moresby said the price escalated from K200 to K500 overnight.
When contacted by AAP today, PNG's high commission in Canberra and the consulate in Brisbane said there had been no official word from Port Moresby.
"We have heard the rumours too, but we have been told nothing official yet," a spokesperson for the High Commission said. "Until then it's business as usual."
In November Mr O'Neill threatened to withdraw the visas-on-arrival arrangements with Australia unless Australia eased its own visa requirements for Papua New Guineans.
"This visa on arrival business for all Australians will be withdrawn by the following year if we don't get a similar arrangement with them," Mr O'Neill told the ABC.
Well it's true now ! There goes the fledgling tourist trade with the spontaneous surfers, divers and war relic visitors on holiday in Cairns "then lets go to PNG".
All for the want of some meaningful progress on reciprocal rights for PNG citizens to visit Australia.
You fluffed this one Ms Bishop ... just for the want of talking to people.
Posted by: Kevin O'Regan | 22 January 2014 at 07:51 AM
Despite the rumours I thought a tourist visa currently issued upon arrival in Port Moresby was free. Has that changed again?
Posted by: Geoff Hancock | 20 January 2014 at 06:42 PM