Wednesday, 17 March 2021
Questions without Notice
Papua New Guinea: COVID-19
As the government has announced, from tonight we will suspend passenger flights from Papua New Guinea to Cairns for a two-week period. I want to assure colleagues and assure the Senate that freight will continue, to make sure that the movement of essential and humanitarian supplies is available and continues for Papua New Guinea. We will also suspend charter flights from Papua New Guinea, with limited exemptions. We will reduce passenger caps from Port Moresby to Brisbane. We will suspend outbound travel exemptions to Papua New Guinea other than for essential workers.
Australia and Papua New Guinea are working in partnership to prevent cross-border transmission, including in the Torres Strait, where, of course, family and cultural cross-border connections are strong. Our vaccine support will also include Papua New Guinea's Western province. Non-government organisations will play an important role in community engagement and mobilisation activities for these programs. I also want to acknowledge the support of Warren Entsch, the member for Leichhardt, and Queensland Health, which is cooperating in the vaccination— (Time expired)