CANBERRA – Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne will fly to Port Moresby today for a two-day visit.
Her visit is stated “to engage with Papua New Guinean leaders and to advance Australia's strategic and economic partnership with our closest neighbour.”
“Our bilateral relationship is broad and deep, with strong people-to-people links built on shared history and values,” Senator Payne said.
“In my meetings with PNG ministers, I will discuss Australia's support for PNG's hosting of the upcoming APEC meeting and explore opportunities to promote our shared regional and global priorities.
“I will officially open PNG's new satellite internet system, a critical investment by Australia which will increase capacity by approximately 30%. Together with the new Coral Sea Cable, Australia is supporting the digital transformation of PNG's economy,” she said.
The senator will also hold discussions to look at increasing the number of PNG workers participating in Australia's Seasonal Worker Program, a source of considerable recent concern in PNG and the Pacific after Australia unilaterally announced it would change the scheme.
During the trip, Senator Payne will also visit a health clinic to “view at first hand Australia's support to combat the outbreak of polio and other infectious diseases”, officially open the refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery and visit the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct.