BORDER and maritime security, as well as trade enforcement were high on the agenda at the 5th Australia-Papua New Guinea (PNG) Customs Bilateral Meeting in Canberra on November 27.
Hosted by the Australian Border Force (ABF) Commissioner, Michael Outram APM, the meeting with Papua New Guinea Customs Service (PNGCS) marked the end of a highly successful year for the Australia-PNG relationship.
Commissioner Outram reaffirmed the ABF’s commitment to working with the PNGCS as a trusted border security partner in the Indo-Pacific region.
“We share many strategic challenges and opportunities with our PNG counterparts and other customs organisations in the region and it’s vital we are always looking for ways to collaborate, particularly on matters of intelligence, innovation and development,” Commissioner Outram said.
“Today’s meetings with representatives from across the Home Affairs portfolio ensures that the PNGCS has access to a breadth of operational, regulatory and policy experience and expertise.
“The ABF, along with the Department of Home Affairs, committed to continue officer exchange programs and other strategic programs to ensure our strong relationship with the PNGCS continues to grow.”
The Home Affairs portfolio provided extensive capacity building and advisory assistance to PNG border security agencies for PNG APEC 2018.
Following the plenary meetings, a post-APEC Corroboree celebration was organised for the PNGCS, which involved an indigenous performance and gifting ceremony.
“The success of APEC 2018 will leave a lasting legacy for PNG, and we recognise the generations of close border security and customs cooperation between our agencies,” Commissioner Outram said.