JEMIMA GARRETT | Radio Australia
PETER O'NEILL HAS ASKED AUSTRALIA to offer easier access to Australian visas for Papua New Guineans.
Mr O'Neill says Australia's policy of requiring a visa prior to departure is reducing the number of Papua New Guineans able to visit Australia.
He's told Radio Australia that Papua New Guineans deserve the option of visas on arrival, to match the arrangements his country offers Australians.
"I think PNG deserves the opportunity to have a similar arrangement to that Australia has with New Zealand," he said.
"New Zealand has never been a colony of Australia, whereas Papua New Guinea has.
"I think Australia ought to learn from such experiences."
Mr O'Neill says the travel restrictions, combined with the international perception of law and order in his country, are impairing links between the countries.
But he says, as more businesses look to PNG for investment opportunities, that is like to change.
"More and more people are starting to come back into the country," he said.
"Papua New Guinea is a very friendly country and I believe that when Australians start to appreciate the uniqueness of Papua New Guinea numbers will increase."