Australia welcomes the formation of a new Papua New Guinea Parliament and congratulates Peter O'Neill on his re-election as Prime Minister.
Prime Minister O'Neill's re-election reflects the broad support he has secured from elected members of parliament and PNG's people.
The Government looks forward to working closely with Prime Minister O'Neill and his Ministerial team to further strengthen the close partnership between Australia and PNG.
The successful election in PNG and the formation of a broad coalition government will give renewed confidence to the international community about PNG's political stability.
Australia pays tribute to Sir Michael Somare. As 'Grand Chief', Sir Michael's participation in the new parliament and new coalition is a welcome signal of political reconciliation after the tensions of recent months.
Australia also warmly congratulates Dellilah Gore and Loujaya Toni on their election. This is a significant and welcome development in PNG and the Pacific more generally. Their election will help elevate issues of concern for women across the country.
Australia and PNG have a full agenda to take forward in coming months, including:
- Concluding negotiation of an economic cooperation treaty to reflect our maturing bilateral relationship;
- Drawing on Australia's experience with our Future Fund, continuing assistance in the establishment of PNG's sovereign wealth fund, which will help ensure that the economic gains from natural resources exploitation benefit the people of Papua New Guinea;
- Consolidating the repositioning of Australia's aid program in line with Papua New Guinea's own development priorities: focusing on education, health, transport and law and justice, and deepening our cooperation on gender equality;
- Enhancing our cooperation in policing, recognising the fundamental importance of the rule of law to sustainable and equitable development;
- Intensifying bilateral defence cooperation, particularly in the areas of personnel, infrastructure and capability challenges for the PNG Defence Force.
We look forward to the Papua New Guinea-Australia Ministerial Forum later this year and to early exchanges of bilateral visits.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555