Aus PM Dismisses PNG Plan For Torres Treaty Review

admin's picture

Concerns over implications for drug trafficking

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, August 31, 2015) – Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott has rejected a Papua New Guinea plan to review the Torres Strait Treaty.

The PNG prime minister in July signalled his intention to renegotiate the treaty to allow his citizens easier access to Australian islands and for longer periods.

Peter O'Neill also said he wanted a restoration of traditional access rights to Trans-Fly communities who he claimed had been denied their hunting and fishing rights in the Strait.

However the Cairns Post reports that the Abbott Government fears any move to make it easier for Papua New Guineans to travel across the Torres Strait could increase drug trafficking and the spread of diseases.

Tony Abbott said he would treat any request from PNG with appropriate respect and courtesy but insisted there was no plan for change.

He also dismissed calls for a bolstered Customs, Immigration and Federal Police facility in the Strait, declaring there was no crisis on the border.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment