AUSTRALIA’S foreign minister Julie Bishop and a team of ministerial heavyweights including the controversial Scott Morrison and David Johnston arrive in Papua New Guinea this afternoon.
Ms Bishop will co-chair the annual Australia-Papua New Guinea ministerial forum and business dialogue at which she will be joined by immigration minister Scott Morrison, defence minister David Johnston and justice minister Michael Keenan.
“The participation of four senior members of the Coalition reflects the strength and depth of the relationship the Australian government shares with our closest neighbour,” Ms Bishop said in a statement.
Discussions are to focus on defence, policing, asylum seeker resettlement, strengthening PNG's public service and Australian assistance for PNG’s hosting of APEC in 2018.
The business community will also be able to join the ministers to discuss trade and investment links between the two countries.
Ms Bishop will later travel to Bougainville to discuss the implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement and visit Australian-funded projects in Buka and Arawa.
It is the first visit to Bougainville by an Australian foreign minister since 2000.
She will then visit Goroka to participate in a meeting focusing on women’s economic empowerment and family and sexual violence.