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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 84


Mr BYRNE (Holt) (10:42): I rise to commend the Australian Federal Police officers, led by Commissioner Andrew Colvin, who are working with Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary to provide extra security support in the lead-up to the 2018 APEC meeting in Port Moresby on 17 and 18 November. Many of our fellow Australians may not be aware that our neighbour to the north, PNG, has a population of approximately 7.7 million people, that they are going to host the most significant international event that country has ever hosted and that APEC will bring in excess of 9,000 delegates, staff and media to Port Moresby. Earlier this year I received a briefing from members of the AFP and two members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on how security preparations were proceeding for APEC 2018. I'm very pleased and proud of the AFP and the RPNGC for the work they are doing and how closely they are working together to keep everyone safe during this event.

AFP personnel are providing extensive support to the RPNGC, most visibly through specialised training to enhance the capabilities of the Papua New Guinea police force in major event planning and close personal protection of world leaders. Over the past 18 months the AFP-led PNG-Australia Policing Partnership has been providing the bulk of training for APEC 2018 for people on the ground in PNG in roles such as bomb appraisal, close personal protection officers, traffic and motorcade members, canine and water police and event security specialists. The AFP involvement with the police services in Papua New Guinea has been extensive. AFP personnel in PNG will also continue to work on issues such as improving the capabilities of PNG police, custody management practices, responses to family and sexual violence, and juvenile justice matters. APEC is an incredibly important international forum of 21 Asia-Pacific countries that are home to more than 2.9 billion people and make up over 60 per cent of global GDP.

On behalf of this chamber, I wish the people of PNG all the very best in hosting APEC 2018. I also congratulate the AFP personnel, one of whom I know, for the work that they're doing in supporting law enforcement in PNG and the personal relationships that they are building in providing that support. That is very important in the shared future that Australia and PNG will have together. The relationship between Australia and PNG is incredibly important to our country and enduring, and the work that the AFP is doing in providing that enhanced security support advice will strengthen that relationship.