Marape begins state visit
The Manus asylum center closure will be one of Prime Minister James Marape’s agenda items to be discussed with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra today.
Mr Marape, accompanied by several ministers and governor, said the Manus asylum seekers issue was “hot” and that while he had discussed the issue with Australia’s Peter Dutton, the exact form and shape of the closure would take place in his upcoming talks.
“When it will eventuate, both sides of the Torres Strait will discuss.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison will receive me as the first national leader outside of Australia to visit him (since his re-election in May), I am bringing a few relevant ministers to set pace, the way PNG and Australia must relate going into 2020.” Mr Marape said he was taking some governors in his entourage for them to see sub-regional governments, on how states and governments relate to the Federal Government in Australia.”
“Our provinces must generate revenues, we to have a look at how provincial governments become micro economists instead of just depending on Waigani for handouts.
“Provincial governments must become autonomous and independent, raise revenues and sustain themselves and have revenue-sharing arrangements with the national government; the outcomes will be announced when I return to the country,” Mr Marape said as he departed from Port Moresby’s Jackson Airport yesterday.
“In my view it will set the pace in how we relate to each as we move from 2019 into 2020s.” Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven will be acting Prime Minster while Mr Marape is away for the week-long tour on July 21 to July 26. Mr Marape is being accompanied by his wife Racheal.
He and Mr Morrison would discuss other wide range of issues, but specifically focus their discussions on opportunities to boost trade and investment, ways to address shared regional challenges, and strengthen bilateral co-operation on labour mobility, defence and security.
It is understood the Bougainville referendum, for which writs would be issued next month, would be a draw card for discussions because Australia had been and was playing a major role in the referendum vote in October.
It is understood Mr Marape will be in Canberra for his bilateral meeting with Mr Morrison today before his Royal Australian Air Force trip and visits to Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.