Tomorrow I will travel to Papua New Guinea to open the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct and meet Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato and other Ministerial colleagues.

The Precinct will help forge the next generation of leaders in PNG, by providing a comprehensive program of education and training to build the leadership qualities and skills of government officials. The Australian Government has made a substantial contribution to the Precinct’s infrastructure and established links with local and international experts and institutions.

PNG is a key partner for Australia. We have a shared history, increasingly close economic ties and common interests in a stable and prosperous region. Australia is PNG’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade valued at $6.8 billion. Australia’s investment in PNG is worth $19 billion.

I will visit the Highlands region with Minister Pato to see first-hand the impact of the El Niño weather pattern, and discuss how Australia can continue to best assist PNG in responding to the drought.

While in Enga Province I will observe the training being undertaken at the Australian-supported Enga School of Nursing and Enga Teachers’ College.

I will launch the New Colombo Plan in PNG, which provides an opportunity for Australian students to gain a deeper understanding of our close neighbour and build on the strong history between our two countries. By the end of 2016 about 60 Australian students will have lived, worked and studied in PNG.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555