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Joint communique issued on 9th December 1980 by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and the Acting Prime Minister of Australia during Sir Julius Chan's visit to Canberra

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At the invitation of the Government of Australia, the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Honourable Sir Julius Chan and Lady Chan are paying an official visit to Australia from 7th to 10th December. Among the party

accompanying Sir Julius is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Honourable Mr. Noel Levi. -


2. Sir Julius was received by His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir Zelman Cown on 9th December. In the absence, due to illness, of the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. Malcolm Fraser, Sir.Julius was received by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Doug Anthony on 8th December. Sir Julius,

accompanied by Mr. Levi, had wide ranging discussions with Mr. Anthony, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Street, and the Minister for Transport, Mr. Hunt.

3. Mr. Anthony, noting that this was Sir Julius Chan's first official visit to Australia since becoming Prime Minister, extended a warm welcome to him on behalf of the Government and people of Australia.

The International Situation

4. Sir Julius, Mr. Anthony and their Ministerial colleagues, discussed the international situation. They condemned foreign intervention in Afghanistan'and Kampuchea, and noted that such acts of intervention gravely jeopardised prospects for international peace and security. They observed that progress in arms control depended on there being the level of confidence in political relations which was now at risk. They welcomed the constructive efforts of the ASEAN countries to promote peace and stability in their region, including in Indochina." '

Bilateral Relations

5. Sir Julius and Mr. Anthony noted that, since Papua New Guinea became independent in 1975, the relationship . between Australia and Papua New Guinea had developed and matured. They expressed satisfaction with the· way the

relationship was evolving. It had many unique features and was soundly based on- shared common interests. It was in the interests of both countries that the Governments of Papua

New Guinea and Australia continue to work together for the closest development of that relationship.

Aid .

6. Sir Julius and Mr. Anthony exchanged formal letters recording the aid arrangements oh budget support grants to apply between Papua New Guinea and Australia for the period 1981-82 to 1985-86. Mr. Anthony said that the aid arrangements

between Australia and Papua New Guinea were an indication of the special place Papua New Guinea had in Australia's foreign relations. The purpose of Australian aid was to promote the economic and social development of Papua New Guinea. The five-year commitment would enable Papua New Guinea to plan with the benefit of advance knowledge of the level of Australian aid. It was the common goal of both Governments that the proportion of the Papua New Guinea budget derived from Australian aid should be reduced over time at a rate which did not cause disruption to the Papua New Guinea economy and which would assist the Papua New Guinea Government to attain its objective of self-reliance.

Sir Julius said Papua New Guinea had accepted the proposed five per cent annual reduction in real terms in the level of aid, despite current economic conditions which meant that this rate of reduction would restrict growth, because Papua New Guinea wanted to demonstrate its commitment to attaining self-reliance as rapidly as possible. Sir Julius

said their two sovereign countries had a unique, long-term aid relationship which Papua New Guinea much appreciated.

Civil Aviation Agreement

7. The Ministers noted the close co-operation that had long existed between Papua New Guinea and Australia in the field of civil aviation and welcomed the signing on 8th December of a bilateral Aid Services Agreement , by the Australian Minister for Transport, Mr. Hunt, and the Papua

New Guinea Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Levi, as a further important step in that relationship. They noted that substantive aviation links between Australia and Papua New Guinea had a long history. Before Papua New Guinea's independence, Australia's airlines played an important role

in maintaining that link and in developing services within Papua New Guinea. Since Papua New Guinea moved to independence in 1975, Australian aviation personnel had assisted in the development of Aviation in Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister took the opportunity to express appreciation for the support Australia had given

in this area. .

Torres Strait Treaty

8. The Ministers reaffirmed the high importance they ‘ attached to the Torres Strait Treaty. It was agreed that both Governments would give priority to the introduction of appropriate legislation in the first half of 1981 which would allow ratification of the Treaty.

Regional Affairs

9. The Ministers reviewed recent developments in regional affairs. They welcomed the signing of Compacts of Free Association between the United States and the Micronesian territories and looked forward to their taking their places as full members of regional organisations.

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10. The Ministers warmly welcomed the independence of Vanuatu as an independent neighbour in the South Pacific and a partner in the Commonwealth and the South Pacific Forum. They looked forward to the further development of close relations between Vanuatu and their two countries.

11. The Ministers expressed their pleasure that the illegal armed rebellion on the island of Santo had been ended quickly and efficiently. Mr. Anthony congratulated Sir Julius on the manner in which the Papua New Guinea Defence Force had performed its role. The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister thanked Mr. Anthony for the support the Papua New Guinea Defence Force contingent had received from the Australiah Armed Forces.

Commonwealth ■

12. The Ministers took the opportunity to review a number of Commonwealth matters. They noted with satisfaction the successful outcome of the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Regional Meeting in New Delhi, at which both Papua New Guinea and Australia had played an active role. They reviewed progress in regional co-operation since the New Delhi meeting, in particular in the Working Groups on Trade, convened by Australia and on'Industry being convened by Papua New Guinea. - The opportunity arose to discuss the forthcoming full meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government in Melbourne

(30th September - 7th October 1981) and Sir Julius indicated that he looked forward to being in Australia again for that meeting.

Regional Institutional Arrangements

13. The Ministers discussed the future of regional institutions. They agreed that there was a need for eventual rationalisation and noted that the report of the joint South Pacific Forum - South Pacific Conference Committee on regional institutional arrangements would be further discussed by the Forum and the South Pacific Conference next year.

Pacific Forum Line

14. The Ministers had a full exchange of views on the future of the Pacific Forum (Shipping) Line. They noted moves initiated by the new management to reduce costs and to make the Line more efficient. They expressed the hope that the proposed review of the PFL by the South Pacific

Bureau for Economic Co-operation, in conjunction with the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation, would point to ways in which the PFL could be placed on a sound commercial footing.


15. Sir Julius said he was gratified to be welcomed as ' his country's leader in such a warm and friendly manner. He confirmed his impression that Australia and Papua New Guinea had developed a matured relationship as two independent nations with a growing mutual respect. .