Thank you, Australia, for your unrelenting support: Prime Minister James Marape
Thursday, 8 February 2024, 4:06 pm
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape, today acknowledged the national government of Australia for their input in the country’s growth and development.
Mr Marape when addressing the Australian parliament in a historic occasion, thanked their government for the stanch commitment and the unrelenting support in PNG’s progression over the last 40 years.
“I want to take this time to appreciate all governments of Australia which have assisted our governments since 1975. I want to thank all Heads of Missions and staff of Australian High Commission who have served in PNG,” he said when delivering his speech in Canberra this morning.
“Thank you for continuing to support us throughout the life of our nationhood. Your assistance in Education, Health, Infrastructure development in ports, roads and telecommunications continue to a play a crucial role in our development as a country.
“I appreciate, also, all Australian investors, who, to date, comprise the biggest pool of investors in Papua New Guinea.
“For my Government, I acknowledge the Liberal-led Government under my good friend Scott Morrison for its support, as I acknowledge and thank this Labour-led Government under you, Prime Minister Albanese.”
The traditional ties between the two countries date back to independence with Australia a significant partner to PNG in all development traits.
Marape said the PNG-Australia relationship has grown since fostering the Comprehensive Strategic Economic Program in 2020 under the former prime minister Scott Morrison.
He said the program mounted was an economic direction for the country to drift away from being an aid/donor-recipient nation to becoming an economic-partner nation.
In recent times, Marape also signed a security deal with current PM Anthony Albanese to scale-up police force and strengthen security operations in the region.
“I want to also appreciate Prime Minister Albanese and the Labour Government for the Bilateral Security Agreement,” Marape added.
“This holds the blueprint that reflects my focus on Papua New Guinea becoming a strong economically-resilient nation. A strong, economically-empowered Papua New Guinea means a stronger and more secure Australia and Pacific.”
Taking account of Australia’s support in all development phase, Mr Marape extended an invitation to the Australian leaders to join PNG in its 50th celebration next year.
He said the Australian government played a vital role to ensure the key institution of PNG was established and it is fitting for them to witness the National Golden Jubilee.
“Last year, we celebrated 50 years of our Central Bank; and our national airline, Air Niugini; and our national broadcaster, National Broadcasting Corporation,” he said.
“This year, we will witness that of our National & Supreme Courts, and several others. We thank Australia for the profound work that has gone into setting up these institutions of our country.
“I also take this opportunity to formally thank all the People of Australia who have helped to shape and build my country – the politicians, public servants, missionaries, members of NGOs, businessmen and women.
“And a very special group of people – the Patrol and District Officers, known simply as Kiaps. This special breed of men patrolled our country well into its interior in the 50s and 60s after the War, many of them losing their lives from the challenges of this occupation.”