AFP revival

AUSTRALIAN Federal Police numbers may ramp up in Papua New Guinea, with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill reportedly prepared to give them legal immunity.
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The bulk of the AFP presence in PNG was withdrawn in 2005 following a Supreme Court decision in the country to overturn their legal immunity.

Yet O'Neill, the son of an Australian kiap and magistrate, seems ready to turn back the clock.

According to the Australian Financial Review, O'Neill reportedly gave a guarantee to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman under an emergency worker exchange scheme they agreed to in May.

"If required, the Prime Minister has indicated that he has no objections to changing the laws to guarantee immunity for Australian police," A Queensland government spokesman told the newspaper.

The comfortable majority of the O'Neill-led ruling coalition makes the PM able to pass such a measure in Parliament, although a 2005-echoing legal challenge is also possible.

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