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Wednesday, 17 October 1973
Page: 2309


Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice:

(1)   Into what Services are the Armed Forces in Papua New Guinea divided.

(2)   What is the present numerical strength of each Service.

(3)   What was the strength of each Service on 2 December 1972.

(4)   How many expatriate officers are engaged in each Service and what are their ranks.

(5)   How many officers of the Australian Armed Forces or officials of the Department of Defence are currently employed in defence-related tasks in Papua New Guinea.

(6)   Is the Army or any other Service of the Armed Forces in Papua 'New Guinea being trained in internal security techniques.


Mr Barnard (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Defence) - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

(1)   In January 1973 the Joint Force Papua New Guinea, established in February 1972, was redesignated as the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. The Force comprises land, maritime and air elements and a fully integrated headquarters, under the command of a Papua New Guinea Force Commander.

(2)   The uniformed strength of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force at 31 July 1973 was approximately 4,100.

(3)   The uniformed strength of the Joint Force Papua New Guinea at 30 November 1972 was about 3,860.

(4)   The total number of expatriate officers in the Papua New Guinea Defence Force at 31 July was 270. Analysis by rank is:

 

 

 

(5)   As at 31 July 1973 there were 46 officers of the Australian Armed Forces engaged on defence related tasks in Papua New Guinea. These tasks are principally mapping surveys, air transport, and support activities for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.

There were 5 officials of the Department of Defence employed on defence-related tasks in Papua New Guinea as at 31 July 1973. Two of these officers were on loan to the Papua New Guinea Government, and were employed in the Defence Branch of the Chief Minister's Office.

(6)   Consultations and discussions are continuing with the Papua New Guinea Government, and Papua New Guinea Defence Force is actively being developed to meet Papua New Guinea's needs on the basis of agreed guidelines laid down by the Papua New Guinea Government. As part of the Force's normal military training activities, the land element continues to train for the provision of aid to the civil power in Papua New Guinea in an internal security situation. However, as stated constantly by Papua New Guinea Ministers and myself, primary responsibility for the maintenance of internal security in Papua New Guinea rests with the Papua New Guinea Police Force.







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