A GROUP of 50 Australian police officers will arrive before Christmas as part of the exchange programme between the two countries.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told parliament yesterday that the new government led by Tony Abbott would honour the arrangement signed with the ousted Labor government. O’Neill said 34 would be based in Port Moresby and 16 in Lae.
“I had a conversation on Monday with the incumbent Prime Minister of Australia Abbott and he has agreed to honour the ongoing commitments Australia has made to PNG,” he said.
“One of them is to extend support for law and order. The arrangement will put 50 police personnel on the ground to assist PNG police build capacity.”
O’Neill said the arrangement would help the country properly address law and order issues.
The first lot of 34 officers will arrive on Nov 1 while the second lot of 16 will arrive just before Christmas.
He said Abbott had confirmed that the Australia had agreed to also fund 150 police officers in the arrangement.
He said PNG needed to revitalise policing as many training facilities had been closed in the past 10 years.