Australia is looking to wrap up negotiations with Papua New Guinea over a new defence security pact with Defence Minister Richard Marles set to host counterpart Win Bakri Daki.
The delayed defence pact was initially slated to be signed by the middle of the year before a separate agreement between the U.S and PNG sparked internal divisions in the Pacific nation over the potential loss of sovereignty.
It led to PNG pausing the Australian treaty and going back to the drawing board.
Marles said Canberra and Port Moresby shared a unique and deep defence relationship that was underpinned by close people-to-people ties.
“But we can always do more together,” he said ahead of hosting Daki in Geelong on Thursday.
“I look forward to discussing ways to deepen our close partnership.”
Discussions will focus on the defence relationship including regional military exercises and broader regional security agreements.
They will also include continued support for PNG’s “sovereign defence capabilities” as well as humanitarian support following a volcanic eruption.
An Australian minister has also overseen the official handover of a new Guardian-class patrol boat to Daki in Western Australia.
Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh met with the PNG defence minister at the HMAS Sterling navy base to hand over the vessel.
The boats are used to tackle illegal and unreported fishing and surveillance activities.