Australian High Commission
Morobe communities will have access to improved and additional legal services, following the opening yesterday of new provincial law and justice offices and a bigger and better family and sexual violence unit in Lae, funded by the Australian Government.
The two facilities were opened by Governor of Morobe, Kasiga Kelly Naru and Minister-Counsellor, Robert Brink, of the Australian High Commission.
“The opening of these two offices will bring great improvement in legal services for Morobe communities,” said Brink.
“The law and justice office will play a large role in progressing safety and security from villages to towns, working in cooperation with all district, provincial and national agencies.
“The creation of this office and its specialist responsibility for village court and land mediations will mean significantly improved access to justice and delivery of justice.”
The office will provide support to the Case Management Centre, which assists agencies such as: the Office for Community Development, the Family Support Centre, safe houses, rural pathways including village courts and land mediation, and the family and sexual violence (FSV) unit.
The new FSV unit replaces the original unit established in the Lae Police Station in 2010, which was one of the busiest in the country, having managed over 4,000 cases. The new unit is expected to handle over 1,100 cases every year.
“The Australian Government is supporting PNG to tackle family and sexual violence through efforts addressing systemic inequities and behaviour change, and through providing victim support and access to justice, education, and economic opportunities.
“We also recognise the importance of networking and referral pathways and PNG-Australia Law & Justice Partnership advisers are active in supporting the links and coordination between civil society organisations, the health sector, the law and justice sector and the provincial administration,” Brink said.
To complement the new FSV unit, the Australian Government will support the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary in Morobe in its response to family and sexual violence through training of officers, using the recently developed FSV curriculum and Australian Federal Police on-the-job advisers.
“The overall investment of the Australian Government in these two buildings and the services they offer, including a new vehicle, is 830,000 kina.
“Additionally, we remain committed to strengthening capacity, with staff in both offices continuing to undertake regular specialist training courses.
“Together with the Morobe Provincial Administration’s dedication to improving law and justice, these contributions will greatly assist the people, families and communities of Morobe,” said Brink.