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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12263

AusAID: Papua New Guinea

(Question No. 339)


Ms Julie Bishop asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, in writing, on 24 March 2011:

(1) Of the 487 Australian adviser positions in Papua New Guinea that were considered by AusAid's Joint Adviser Review Report, how many are currently filled by former AusAID staff.

(2) How many Canberra-based AusAID officials have travelled to Papua New Guinea since the 2010 election, and what was the total cost of their travel.

(3) In respect of part (2), (a) what was the cost of their travel, (b) where did they stay, (c) what were the names of the hotels in which they stayed, (d) what was the total cost of their accommodation, and (e) were additional security measures required for their travel; if so, at what cost.

(4) How many AusAID officials have visited the Southern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea since the 2010 election.


Mr Rudd: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Six of the 487 adviser positions considered by the Joint Adviser Review in Papua New Guinea are currently filled by former AusAID employees. Of these six, four individuals are Papua New Guinea nationals.

(2) 89 AusAID Canberra-based officials have travelled to Papua New Guinea between 21 August 2010 and 30 June 2011. The total cost of this travel, including accommodation, meals and incidental costs, was $495,031.

(3) (a) The total cost of this travel was $495,031, including accommodation, meals and incidental costs.

(b) (c) and (e) Consistent with the practice of successive governments, AusAID does not comment on the nature of specific security measures, personnel movements or locations where this information may put staff at risk. AusAID has put in place some new measures to protect our staff in Port Moresby and we are providing our staff with a higher level of security than before. AusAID closely monitors the security environment in Papua New Guinea and ensures all necessary protective security measures are in place to mitigate the risk to AusAID officials when travelling to PNG.

(d) The total cost of their accommodation was $115,162.

(4) Four AusAID officials have visited the Southern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea since the 2010 Australian election.