The Australian Government is lending its expertise to help improve Papua New Guinea’s public service.

In the same week that the Abbott Government left the door open for large-scale cuts on top of the 16,500 public sector sackings already happening – Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says PNG needs a hand with its own government workers.

“I have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the PNG Ministers for Public Service and for Higher Education, Sir Puka Temu and Mr Malakai Tabar, to establish a Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct in PNG, to support public sector education and training,” a statement from Ms Bishop’s office reads.

Australia will work with PNG on an education and training program to build the leadership qualities and skills of PNG officials.

“An effective and ethical public sector is vital for PNG’s stability and prosperity,” Ms Bishop said.

The scheme is intended to ensure that government services reach communities in need, and find news ways for them to “participate fully in the economy”.

“An effective public sector will also increase business confidence and promote strong private sector growth,” Ms Bishop said.

Eventually, the Government hopes the program will be extended to officials from across the Pacific.

A new precinct is planned to facilitate the delivery of the education and training programs.

It will include a new School of Business and Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea and the Institute of Public Administration – soon to be formalised as PNG’s School of Government.

“I am pleased that the Australian National University, the Australian Public Service Commission, and a number of other Australian universities and private sector training providers will have a key role in implementing this important new program,” Ms Bishop said.

“We aim to have courses commence in early 2015 – a year that symbolically highlights our deep bilateral relationship, the 40th anniversary of PNG’s independence.”