- The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Shadow Minister for International Develop and the Pacific
- The Hon Andrew Hastie MP, Shadow Minister for Defence
8 December 2023
Australia – Papua New Guinea Framework Agreement
The Coalition welcomes the Framework Agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea, signed by both countries’ Prime Ministers today.
This agreement is another step in building even closer ties with PNG, which is a key Pacific friend and partner of Australia.
It is enabled by the elevation of Australia’s relationship with PNG to that of a Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP), signed by former Prime Minister Morrison and PNG’s Prime Minister Marape in August 2020.
The CSEP followed the delivery of the first Guardian Class Patrol Boat to PNG in 2019 under the Coalition’s Pacific Maritime Security Program, which is delivering the capability to Pacific Island nations and Timor-Leste to enhance maritime security across the region. PNG recently received its fourth Guardian Class Patrol Boat.
It is noted that this agreement has taken much longer to conclude than initially anticipated by the Albanese Government, with Prime Minister Albanese saying in January that substantive negotiations would be concluded by the end of April 2023. It also appears to be different to that originally intended, being a Framework Agreement for closer security relations, rather than a comprehensive Bilateral Security Treaty.
Nevertheless, the Coalition supports the continued development of closer cooperation between Australia and PNG. Improving the security of both our nations is an important objective, as is support for PNG to build its internal policing capability and internal security.
PNG is a major Pacific country and an important strategic partner to Australia – not the least because of our shared history. We must play an active and collaborative role in our future partnership towards shared objectives of a stable, prosperous and secure region.
The Coalition looks forward to welcoming PNG Prime Minister Marape back to Australia in February next year for his address to a joint sitting of the Australian Parliament.