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By Gorethy Kenneth in Port Moresby

Australia has gifted Papua New Guinea with 3000 ballistic vests and 3000 helmets which arrived at Jackson’s International Airport in Port Moresby today.

They were flown in on a Royal Australian Airforce C17 Globemaster inbound from the United States.

The ballistic vests and helmets are a gift from Australia to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) in response to Papua New Guinea’s request for additional protective equipment for the police force.

At a ceremony yesterday, Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp and Australian Federal Police Commander Jamie Strauss formally signed over the equipment to Police Commissioner David Manning.

“Australia is pleased to deliver these ballistic vests and helmets ahead of the 2022 National Elections. PNG and Australia share a tradition of representative democracy reflecting our broader shared values and Australia is proud to be able to support PNG through this gift and through our broader Supporting Elections Programme,” said High Commissioner Philp.

The protective equipment that Australia delivered today will allow the RPNGC to safely carry out their duties — not only during the national election, but in the critical operations the RPNGC undertake every day.

AFP Commander Jamie Strauss highlighted that “the provision of this equipment is a demonstration of the maturing cooperation between the RPNGC and the AFP under the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership”.

The partnership between Australia and PNG was strengthened by our close cooperation during the covid-19 response and Australia looks forward to further deepening the cooperation.

Papua New Guinea goes to the polls on July 2-22.

Gorethy Kenneth is a PNG Post-Courier reporter. Republished with permission.

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