Chapter Two > Outcome Five: Strategic Policy > Defence Cooperation > Papua New Guinea

Defence Cooperation

Papua New Guinea

Performance Summary

The Australian Government continued to provide substantial assistance during the year to the Papua New Guinea Government's defence reform program. The aim of the program is to achieve stability in the defence force by making it smaller, more affordable and better managed. In 2003, the Australian Government agreed to provide a second and final tranche of financial support to the redundancy program of up to a further $20m. A framework for the administration of this support was agreed with Papua New Guinea, and the first increment of funds was released, accounting for the increase in actual spending over estimates. Completion of the redundancy program will reduce the force to the target of no more than 2,000 personnel. Australia is working closely with Papua New Guinea as it develops plans for the next stage of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force reform program.

The Defence Cooperation Program with Papua New Guinea focused on training, technical advice, infrastructure development and logistics support. Training and technical advice concentrated on the maritime and land elements of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force. A program of armoury construction was completed and refurbishment of ammunition magazines commenced. Together with awareness training, this infrastructure resulted in significant improvement in the standard for Papua New Guinea Defence Force small arms security. A number of bilateral exercises were conducted, including a second combined engineering activity, Exercise Puk Puk. The Defence Cooperation Program also provided support to Papua New Guinea Defence Force contributions to the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands.

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