Police do a practise run before dignitaries, including US vice president Mike Pence, come to Cairns for the APEC summit being held in Port Moresby. A motorcade travelled down Sheridan and Spence streets and stopped at Hilton Cairns about 1.30pm. November 13, 2018. PHOTO: ALICIA NALLY
Police do a practise run before dignitaries, including US vice president Mike Pence, come to Cairns for the APEC summit being held in Port Moresby. A motorcade travelled down Sheridan and Spence streets and stopped at Hilton Cairns about 1.30pm. November 13, 2018. PHOTO: ALICIA NALLY

Security tight as VIPs set up base in Cairns

CANADIAN prime minister Justin Trudeau and the Sultan of Brunei are expected to lap up a taste of Far North Queensland as they call Cairns home during APEC meetings in Papua New Guinea.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern touched down briefly on Tuesday before hopping on a plane to attend trade meetings in Singapore.

It is understood she will return to Cairns today or tomorrow, along with leaders including Indian PM Narendra Modi and potentially Chinese president Xi Jinping.

United States Vice President Mike Pence and wife Karen will be aboard Air Force Two when it lands at Cairns Airport on Friday night with US national security adviser John Bolton in tow.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has confirmed he will welcome Donald Trump's right hand man on arrival.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

"The Deputy Prime Minister looks forward to hosting the Vice President during his visit to Australia," a spokesman for Mr McCormack said.

It is understood Mr Pence will shuttle back and forth between Port Moresby for meetings before finally leaving the vision of Cairns in his jet stream on Sunday morning.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

 

A fleet of six Commonwealth Government "comcars" with bonnet-mounted flag poles have been freighted up to Cairns in preparation for the conspicuous arrivals.

The vehicles are reserved for only presidents, prime ministers and other world leaders of the utmost importance.

It is understood the US Government may use its own vehicles to transport Mr Pence and his delegation, meaning there is potentially one more high-profile leader coming to Cairns over the coming days.

Security across the city is already tightening.

Police caused a commotion while performing a dry-run motorcade consisting of a dozen officers on motorcycles and five cars direct to the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday ahead of Mr Pence's arrival.

Foreign embassies are playing their cards close to their chests and leaving it to the last minute to confirm their leaders' movements.



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