AS PAPUA NEW GUINEA's foreign minister Rimbink Pato confirmed that the decision to change PNG’s visa system has been made and will come into force in March, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop said she will seek clarification on the plan to ban visas on arrival for Australian visitors.
Meanwhile prime minister Peter O'Neill has denied the decision discriminates against Australians.
“There is no discrimination whatsoever,” he said. “We have similar arrangements with other countries and will make sure similar arrangements are in place for other world partners.”
In November Mr O'Neill threatened to withdraw visa-on-arrival arrangements for Australians unless Australia reciprocated.
There has been tension between Port Moresby and Canberra over what many Papua New Guineans believe are unfair visa restrictions on their entry into Australia.
For many years now it has been the most common cause of criticism of Australia in PNG Attitude and is a source of real resentment.
In 2013, about 19,000 visas on arrival were issued to Australians visiting PNG for tourism and business.
Mr Pato said Papua New Guineans should have "some flexibility in travelling to Australia."
"There's so many of our people with interests in Australia in terms of family, in terms of business, in terms of friendships so it is important that this issue needs to be looked at," he said.