PNG government minister arrested in Sydney

POLICE GENERICS
Police arrested a senior foreign government minister on Saturday. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

A senior Papua New Guinean government minister has been arrested in Sydney and charged over an alleged domestic assault.

Petroleum Minister Jimmy Maladina was charged after police were called to an alleged domestic dispute in at a property on Imperial Ave, Bondi about 10am on Saturday.

In a statement, police say officers spoke to a 31-year-old woman with facial injuries, allegedly as a result of an altercation with a 58-year-old man known to her.

Papua New Guinea petroleum Minister Jimmy Maladina. Picture: Supplied
Jimmy Maladina was appointed vice minister assisting the Prime Minister in the Office of State Negotiations in 2022. Picture: Supplied

Mr Maladina has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and granted conditional bail to appear in Waverley Local Court on July 11.

In a statement, the minister said he was “fully co-operating with the authorities to address this matter”.

“I understand the gravity of this situation and the concerns it raises. As a public servant, I hold myself to high standards of conduct, both personally and professionally,” he said in the statement.

“I want to make it clear that violence in any form is unacceptable, and I am committed to handling this situation with integrity and transparency.”

Imperial Avenue, Bondi. Picture: Google
Police were called to Imperial Ave, Bondi, about 10am Saturday. Picture: Google

Petroleum gas constitutes about half of PNG’s annual export activity, worth US$7.7bn in 2022.

The government is working through a $17bn liquefied natural gas project with French oil and gas giant TotalEnergies.

Papua New Guinea media reports Mr Maladina has been forced to shop around to finance the project, with multiple international banks declining.

The PNG government says Mr Maladina obtained a Masters in Law from Sydney University.

Womensline: 1800 811 811
MensLine Australia: 1300 789 978
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence Counselling Service 24hr helpline: 1800 RESPECT
Lifeline: 13 11 44
Family Violence Crisis and Support Service: 1800 608 122
Emergency/Police: 000