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Formation of new PNG government

I congratulate Mr Bill Skate on being chosen by the National Parliament as the new Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea.

Australia and Papua New Guinea enjoy a close and productive relationship. This is reflected in my wish to visit to Papua New Guinea in the very near future and meet Mr Skate and as many Ministers as possible in the new government.

Australia recognises that the new government faces considerable challenges in the months ahead to continue the important economic reform agenda, search for a peaceful resolution to the Bougainville conflict and respond to the message for change delivered by the electorate.

I look forward to discussing these issues with Mr Skate and his government.