Security deal to dominate PM's PNG visit

Australia will look to wrap up a security pact when Prime Minister Anthony Albanese travels to Papua New Guinea.

The PM will head to Australia's closest neighbour on Thursday, a rescheduled trip after his December trip was postponed when he caught COVID-19.

He will also become the first foreign leader to address PNG parliament in a speech on Thursday.

But it's expected security will dominate the agenda as the Pacific leaders look to counter China's growing influence in the region.

Mr Albanese will meet with Prime Minister James Marape in Port Moresby, the first visit by an Australian PM since 2018.

Hitting PNG as his first international visit of the year appears a very deliberate move by Mr Albanese as Australia continues to rebuild trust with close neighbours.

He attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji last July, and he's also travelled to Asian nations such as Japan, Indonesia and Cambodia since taking office.

Mr Marape and Mr Albanese will travel to the north-coast town of Wewak and visit the resting place of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, PNG's first PM after gaining independence from Australia in 1975.

The duo met on a number of occasions last year including at the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the PM's XIII rugby league match in Brisbane.

Mr Albanese acknowledged the significance of his address to PNG parliament in a press conference on Saturday.

"I want to thank Australia's great friend, Prime Minister James Marape, on giving not just me but, I believe, Australia that great honour," he told reporters.