Doorstop, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

  • Joint transcript, E&OE

Joint press conference with:

  • The Hon Clare O’Neil MP, Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Cyber Security
Subjects: Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum.

Penny Wong, Foreign Minister: It's fantastic to be here, we've just landed at Port Moresby for the Ministerial Forum between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This is the only country Australia has this sort of Ministerial Forum with and I'm really very happy to be here with Minister O'Neil and many other ministers for this Forum. We've had a great year in this relationship – our Prime Ministers have met many times, they've both spoken in each other's Parliaments, they've walked Kokoda together and of course, we've had a Bilateral Security Agreement, which we're busy implementing. So really fantastic to be here, fantastic to be here with Claire O'Neil and my other colleagues.

Journalist: What do you want to achieve through this visit? This is one of the biggest delegations of ministers from Australia during this term of government.

Foreign Minister: Well actually, I think it's one of the most senior delegations there has been. So you know, it is a big deal. We want to keep implementing the various aspects of the partnership. We've done a lot of work on the Bilateral Security Agreement, we want to make sure that is implemented. We want to keep working on the economy, on infrastructure, we want to keep working on humanitarian issues, and of course, our condolences and our thoughts are with the communities who have been so terribly affected by the landslide in Enga Province.

Journalist: Minister O'Neil, if we can just get a comment from you too, how important is it that you and your portfolio is represented here? And we just had Premier Li leave Australia. What should we take from the fact such a big ministerial delegation has come here so quickly?

Clare O'Neil, Home Affair and Cyber Security Minister: Well, I'm absolutely thrilled to be here in PNG and my portfolio of Home Affairs and Cyber Security has really, really important interactions here. We're so lucky to have this really long and trusted partnership with PNG and some of the issues we'll be talking about include matters that relate to our migration system and of course, cyber security, which is a growing issue, not just for us in Australia, but also for the citizens here in PNG. And on the China matter, I'll leave that to the Foreign Minister.

Journalist: What should we make of it, Minister?

Foreign Minister: What you should make of it is, this is a very important relationship to Australia and we will continue to ensure we have, as the Minister said, a close and trusting relationship. This is a region where, as Prime Minister Marape pointed out when he spoke so beautifully to the Australian Parliament, we used to be one continent. We are family. That's why we're here. Thank you very much.

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