Prime Minister Julia Gillard is tonight in Papua New Guinea on her first official trip.

Both governments see the visit as a chance to reaffirm and broaden the relationship.

Lizzie Mulherin reports.


It will be a jam-packed 48 hours for the PM.

And top of the agenda, strengthening the relationship with our closest neighbour.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “I will be there talking about our economic relationship with PNG, our aid and development relationship with PNG.”

She will also be talking about the future of immigration detention centres, on both Naru and Manus Islands.

Both facilities are currently housing asylum seekers while their refugee claims are processed.

And concerns have been raised that the conditions on Manus Island aren’t child-friendly.

Ms Gillard will also pay a visit to an all girl’s school and children’s rugby league clinic which have been largely funded by Australian aid.

Financial aid to PNG will be re-evaluated during the visit though, due to strong growth in the country’s mining sector.

Lizzie Mulherin, QUT News.