PM urges caution for Australians in New Caledonia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has urged for Australians to exercise caution in New Caledonia following growing unrest in the region.

Riots have broken out in the French territory in the Pacific and a curfew imposed after a controversial reform passed France's parliament allowing French residents who have lived in the area for more than 10 years to vote in local elections.

Leaders in the region have expressed concern the move would dilute support for New Caledonia becoming independent from France.

Mr Albanese said the federal government was closely monitoring the situation and urged Australians to stay safe.

"Our consulate-general in Noumea is advising Australians in New Caledonia to minimise movements, monitor the media and follow the advice of local authorities," he told parliament on Wednesday.

"Australia values very much our relationship with both New Caledonia and the French state.

"We respect and support the process and discussions under way between all parties."

The French government says the change in New Caledonia is needed so elections are democratic in the French territory.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the coalition supported the government's call for Australians in New Caledonia to stay safe.

"The situation can move fluidly and in these situations, to take early action, that's in your best interest," he told parliament.

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