Australia gives PNG extra funding after fatal landslide

Australia will give an extra $2 million in funding to help Papua New Guinea's recovery efforts following a deadly landslide.

The United Nations estimates almost 700 people were killed last month in the devastating incident which occurred in the country's remote Enga Province.

However, more than two thousand people are believed to have been buried.

People work at the scene of the PNG landslide.
The landslide killed hundreds of people and cut essential services. (HANDOUT/INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM))

The support will help reconstruct crucial infrastructure and restore healthcare and education services.

"Road access is critical for essential services, as well as food and fuel supply chains," Foreign Minister Penny Wong said on Thursday.

The government will also provide 1170 learning packs for children.

Australia had previously provided $2.5 million in humanitarian assistance, while also sending experts to assess damage.

As senior ministers travelled to Port Moresby as part of talks with PNG counterparts, Senator Wong said security would best be achieved if it was provided by Australia and other members of the "Pacific family".

While China has approached PNG with a policing deal, its government has stressed Australia remained its security partner of choice.

The move by the Solomon Islands in 2022 to sign a security pact with China, allowing a Chinese police presence in the country, sent shockwaves through the region.

As a result, Australia sought closer ties with Pacific nations, such as PNG, following the deal.

"We know that we're in a permanent contest in the Pacific ... we know we have to keep engaging in the Pacific. We have to be better, more involved members of the Pacific family, and that's what we're doing," Senator Wong told ABC Radio.

"It's best for all of us, for the whole region, if security needs are met by other members of the Pacific family, by the country itself, or by others working with each other, and that's what we've been doing."

It comes as the federal government unveiled a range of law enforcement and justice measures aimed at bolstering security in PNG.

The PNG village of Yambali after the landslide in May
Australia has pledged more assistance to PNG following the devastating landslide in May. (HANDOUT/IOM PAPUA NEW GUINEA)

Australia will help its neighbour store and secure firearms amid concerns police weapons are being used in tribal violence.

PNG experienced one of its worst massacres earlier this year following a clash between tribes in the country's highlands which left at least 49 people dead.

'We've seen increasing violence sporadically within Papua New Guinea, and that is something that Prime Minister (James) Marape and his cabinet colleagues have made clear is their first priority ," Senator Wong said.