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11th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum

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FA155 17 December 1998


The Australian Government will host the 11th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum in Cairns from 21 to 22 December.

Established under the 1987 Joint Declaration of Principles, the Ministerial Forum is held on an annual basis and the venue alternates between Australia and Papua New Guinea. In 1997 the Forum was held in Papua New Guinea at Alotau in Milne Bay Province.

I will be hosting this year’s Forum and will be joined by Mr Tim Fischer, (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade), Mr John Moore (Minister for Defence), Senator Nick Minchin (Minister for Industry, Science and Resources), Ms Amanda Vanstone (Minister for Justice and Customs), Senator Rod Kemp (Assistant Treasurer) and Ms Kathy Sullivan (Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs)

The Papua New Guinea delegation will be led by the Foreign Minister Mr Roy Yaki who will be accompanied by Sir Rabbie Namaliu (Minister for Petroleum and Gas), Mr Peter Waieng (Minister for Defence), Mr Ian Ling-Stuckey (Minister for Commerce and Industry), Mr Thomas Pelika (Minister for Correctional Institutions Service and Police), Mr Sam Akoitai (Minister for Bougainville Affairs), Mr Kala Swokin (Minister for Civil Aviation), Mr Simon Kaumi (Minister for Justice), Mr Dibara Yagabo (Minister for Provincial and Local Government Affairs) and Mr William Ebenosi (Vice Minister for Treasury).

The Forum will address the full gamut of the extensive Australia-Papua New Guinea bilateral relationship. Major issues will include:

. trade and investment opportunities in both countries, including the possibilities offered by the proposed Australia-Papua New Guinea gas pipeline

. the joint review of the treaty on development co-operation

. progress in the Bougainville peace process and the way ahead.

This year’s Forum will also see, for the first time, participation by the business communities from Australia and Papua New Guinea. Their presence will help to provide a sharper focus to discussions on such issues as economic reform, trade and investment and development


The 1998 Forum underlines the high priority Australia and Papua New Guinea place on the bilateral relationship. It also provides an excellent opportunity to develop further the close ties that have been established between our two countries and to build on the visit to Australia in August by Prime Minister Skate and the visits to Papua New Guinea be myself on 10-11

December and Mr Fischer from 18-21 December.

Media Inquiries: Minister -Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500 Department - Tony Melville / Geoff Leach 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet.