The Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP today expressed appreciation to Australian
Prime Minister Hon. Scott Morrison, MP for accepting Papua New Guinea’s offer to assist in the devastating bushfires.
PM Marape said the Australian Government has accepted our offer to help; therefore, the first 100 Defence Force personnel are ready travel to Australia on Monday (13/01/20).
The Prime Minister said of the total 1000 personnel committed by the Government including the National Fire Service and National Volunteer Service; the first 100 soldiers from the Engineering Battalion; Field Engineers from the Royal Pacific Island Regiment (PIR) and a small liaison and support staff will leave next week.
PM Marape said the Australian Prime Minister has expressed his gratitude for PNG’s offer to support Australia’s bushfire response and to accept our offer to deploy a PNG Defence Force contingent ‘17th Kumul Force’ to assist the Australian Defence Force personnel on the ground.
Our soldiers will be there for three months in routine clearance tasks. The tasks will involve clearing of roads and bridges blocked by fallen trees so fight fighters could get to affected areas in rural communities.
The PNG Government stands firm to support our closest neighbour Australia since both governments have a strong and very high level bilateral relationship.
The Australian Government has always been there for us whether be in good or bad times; therefore, in reciprocal; we show by lending our hands to support them today, he said.
The Prime Minister has again extended his heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost their loved ones in this disaster