20 June 2024

Well, good morning, everybody. It's a real pleasure to be here. Pastor, thank you for joining us in prayer this morning. And the Koitabu sing-sing group, they were just fantastic, really fantastic. It's great to see young people leading culture, young people learning traditional dance and traditional singing and supporting an activity like this. It is just such a wonderful thing to see. Filled my heart full of joy, really, to come here and see that this morning.

In Australia, we too have traditional welcome to country or acknowledgement of country at the beginning of every big event because we take our Indigenous history so seriously now in Australia, 60,000 years of continuous culture. It is a wonderful thing, many, many thousands of years of cultural engagement here between Papua New Guinea and Australia. Ministers Jelta Wong and John Boito are such good friends of Australia, such good colleagues for Murray in particular, who works with them all of the time. Welcome, and we're so delighted to the hospitality, the high quality discussions, the progress we've made. So, thank you very much.

I want to acknowledge the officials too, and the staff of NAQIA who have worked so hard on these biosecurity questions. Today we're here to announce an improvement in the facilities. Like, you have been working so hard in this facility and across Papua New Guinea, and I just want to make a few points. Number one, we are - Murray and I are here as part of a big delegation, a senior delegation of Australian Ministers led by our Deputy Prime Minister and our Foreign Minister as part of the annual dialogue. And across all of these areas of our discussion, the message is the same. As Murray just said, strong biosecurity in Papua New Guinea means strong biosecurity in Australia.

Strong biosecurity in Papua New Guinea will strengthen trade and economic development in Papua New Guinea. In agriculture, where trade and economic development reaches into every community, strengthening food security, building family incomes, building the economy and economic development. And a strong economy in Papua New Guinea means a strong economy in Australia. And we look forward to strengthening the agricultural trade between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

It's good for Papua New Guinea and it's good for Australia to strengthen that relationship. And in broader security terms, a strong Papua New Guinea means a strong Australia. And we are so committed, so committed to building your relationship with Australia, a partnership of equals across the economic, trade, agriculture, security questions. That is what we should do as brothers and sisters across the Torres Strait.

So, we are so happy to be here in Port Moresby. I'm so in awe of the work that you've done as officials of NAQIA and really look forward to seeing, after we've turned a little bit of earth later on this morning, coming back in a few months’ time, in a few years’ time, and seeing the great progress that I know that you will make. So, thank you for all of your hard work. Delighted to be here.

I would say, just on a final note, that it's good that there's a few Maroons fans around. It's very – you know I talk about the relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia. It is so kind of people to support the Maroons, you know, it shows that you've got compassion. That you look at these cheating, dirty playing characters and you see love in your heart for them. That is such a good thing. That is such a good thing, and it reflects so well upon the people of Papua New Guinea. I have to say, I met a Rabbitohs fan at the fish markets a few minutes ago. It's good to find a friend. It's good to find a friend. Anyway, good work. You should be proud of all the work that you've done, I really look forward to coming back here in a year or so's time and seeing how it's all going. Thank you.