21 Juli 2011

$10.5 million for PNG Defence Cooperation Program This year

21 Juli 2011

PNGDF soldier loads his magazines before shooting competition (photo : Aus DoD)

Senator Feeney affirms strong defence relationship with PNG

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Senator the Hon. David Feeney will travel to Papua New Guinea (PNG) with Deputy Secretary Strategy Peter Jennings to review progress being made under Australia’s Defence Cooperation Program with PNG (21-24 July).

The PNG Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) is Australia’s largest DCP commitment, with a budget allocation of $10.5 million this financial year. Under the Defence Cooperation Program, Australia helps build the capability of PNG’s Defence Force in a number of areas, including maritime and border security, as well as conducting training, exercises and infrastructure development.

“The breadth of the DCP shows the importance of Australia’s Defence relationship with PNG” Senator Feeney said.

“We have shared a long and close relationship and I will take the opportunity throughout my visit to reiterate Australia’s commitment to helping further develop a professional and sustainable PNG Defence Force (PNGDF).

“I’m looking forward to meeting with the PNG Minister for Defence, the Hon Bob Dadae MP, and Commander of the PNGDF, Brigadier General Francis Agwi, and seeking their views on further developing the PNGDF. Australia is also assisting PNG develop its capacity to contribute to international peacekeeping operations.

“I will also be meeting with senior officials in the PNG Government to discuss our long-standing bilateral relationship and ways that we may strengthen those ties.”

Senator Feeney will also represent the Minster for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Warren Snowdon MP, at a presentation ceremony to honour the Papuan and New Guinean civilians who provided support to Australia during World War Two.

Senator Feeney will present commemorative medallions to 13 of the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” who cared for and assisted Australian Service men and women during WWII.

“Many Australians owe their lives to these civilians who came to be affectionately known as “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels”. I’m proud to be paying tribute to them on Sunday.” Senator Feeney said.

Senator Feeney will also attend a Remembrance Day Memorial Service on Saturday.

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