Quick outcomes from Rudd govt

THE development of Papua New Guinea’s sovereign wealth fund is reportedly one of the issues on the Australian government’s radar as its Prime Minister Kevin Rudd grants the PNG government travel concessions and policing support during a recent 24-hour visit to Port Moresby.
Quick outcomes from Rudd govt Quick outcomes from Rudd govt Quick outcomes from Rudd govt Quick outcomes from Rudd govt Quick outcomes from Rudd govt

As part of the immediate outcomes of the bilateral talks held between Rudd and his PNG counterpart Peter O'Neill yesterday, AAP reported that Australia would start deploying police officers in PNG over the coming months.

"Recognising the importance of law and order to PNG's economic prosperity, we have agreed importantly that by year's end Australia will deploy 50 police in visible policing roles in Port Moresby and Lae," Rudd reportedly said.

"Our law and order cooperation won't stop there but it is a good start."

An important travel concession was also won, with PNG travellers to Brisbane or Cairns to be given access to faster immigration processing lanes.

"These new arrangements will be rolled out from 1 September and will allow PNG citizens to use immigration processing lanes as holders of Australian and New Zealand passports do," Rudd reportedly said.

While talks were also held over Australia's controversial Manus Island detention centre in PNG, Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Island Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite revealed another priority area of discussion.

"We're working with the Papua New Guinean government to ensure that they develop a sovereign wealth fund to ensure the proceeds or the benefits of that project are shared amongst the Papua New Guinean population," Thistlethwaite reportedly told ABC Radio.

The possible ownership structure of the sovereign wealth fund has become less clear since the PNG government flagged a state asset restructuring program several months ago.

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