THE swift processing of entry visas into Australia will be executed as soon as information sharing capabilities between Australia and Papua New Guinea are improved, says Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The issue has been discussed on a number of occasions with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on his recent visit to Port Moresby.
PNG will have what New Zealand currently has for its citizens travelling to Australia – swift processing of visa applications.
“What we’re now going to work on is trying to ensure that the PNG system and the Australian system can interoperate, so we can have the level of information sharing that exists between Australia and New Zealand and which facilitates what is effectively the visas on arrival for people from New Zealand,” he said.
“Prime Minister O’Neill and I have discussed it now on quite a number of occasions and I absolutely accept the desire of the PNG government and people to have a swift and easy and appropriate access to Australia.
“I absolutely accept that – and we are working towards better processes – we’ve already got the ability of PNG citizens to apply for visas online – we’ve already got a fast-track entry at Brisbane and Cairns airports,” he said.
Abbott told journalists that Australia had fast-track entry points located at Brisbane and Cairns airports in Queensland.
Meanwhile, on cooperation between the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and the Australian police, it has been welcomed by both prime ministers, with Mr Abbott stating that one can only have a prosperous society if there is peace.
“It is impossible to have a prosperous society unless you first have a peaceful one and Australian police are playing a key role in Port Moresby and at least one other centre to make sure that’s reality.”