I have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the PNG Ministers for Public Service and for Higher Education, Sir Puka Temu and Mr Malakai Tabar, to establish a Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct in PNG, to support public sector education and training.

Australia is working in partnership with PNG on a comprehensive program of education and training to build the leadership qualities and skills of PNG officials.

An effective and ethical public sector is vital for PNG’s stability and prosperity. It will ensure services reach those in need and support them to participate fully in the economy. An effective public sector will also increase business confidence and promote strong private sector growth. Over time, the program will also offer education and training opportunities for officials from across the Pacific.

The new Precinct will facilitate the delivery of a wide range of education and training programs. It will include a new School of Business and Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea and the Institute of Public Administration – soon to be formalised as PNG’s School of Government.

I am pleased that the Australian National University, the Australian Public Service Commission, and a number of other Australian universities and private sector training providers will have a key role in implementing this important new program.

We aim to have courses commence in early 2015 – a year that symbolically highlights our deep bilateral relationship, the 40th anniversary of PNG’s independence.

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