CANBERRA – Papua New Guineans have woken up to Australia’s climate change propaganda.
They not only resent its blatant dishonesty, they’re angry Australia is trying to play them for fools.
And they are tuning out from sugar-coated Australian government climate change propaganda that aims to mislead ahead of next week’s COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
Continue reading "Australia’s pathetic climate propaganda fail" »
A 1967 Moke - 'moke' is British slang for donkey
TUMBY BAY - I had my first prang in a Mini Moke, and I can’t quite remember how it happened.
I was coming around a bend on a slippery orange clay road just out Mount Hagen in 1968 and somehow slid into the barat (ditch) that ran alongside it.
Continue reading "The mighty Moke is back for a 21st C spin" »
Off to Glasgow at Australia's expense - handy front row of Juffa, Mori and Parkop
NOOSA – It seems the Australian federal government has finally agreed to set zero carbon emissions by 2050 as the nation’s climate goal.
This is the result of eight years of lethargy and two weeks of frenzy after which the Liberal Party bribed (with taxpayers’ money) its junior coalition partner, the National Party, to gain acceptance for a meaningless outcome.
Continue reading "Oz wants credit for half-arsed climate policy" »
Cartoon by Moir
| Washington Post | Extracts
WASHINGTON, DC - The major COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, is less than a week away.
The roughly 25,000 delegates — including top-level officials from more than 100 countries — expected to attend the United Nations-convened sessions and side events have their work cut out for them.
Continue reading "Looks like climate catastrophe is on the cards" »
China's foreign minister Wang Yi chairs the first China-Pacific Island foreign ministers' meeting, held virtually last week
NOOSA – Last week’s meeting of Pacific Island foreign ministers with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, included commitments by China to increase its activity in addressing Covid, poverty reduction and climate action.
Wang chaired the meeting which included Soroi Eoe of Papua New Guinea, senior ministers from Kiribati, Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Vanuatu, Micronesia, Solomon Islands and Henry Puna, secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum.
Continue reading "China’s Pacific agenda leaves Australia dangling" »
Bob Carr, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull at a function honouring former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo
| The Guardian | Extracts
SYDNEY - Former Australian prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull, and former foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, have accused the Morrison government of “cynical indifference” and “empty rhetoric” when it comes to climate action.
They said the commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 was the “bare minimum” that needed to be done.
Continue reading "Former Oz leaders apologise to Pacific" »
Les Murray - 'The gentle itan of Australian letters' (Adam Hollingworth)
| Australian Book Review
For the April 1985 issue of Australian Book Review, the 22-year old Fiona Capp, then a cadet journalist, interviewed one of Australia’s most eminent poets, Les Murray (1938-2019) Fiona wrote a gentle and insightful piece on Murray, the self-styled ‘Poet Lorikeet’ of Australian poetry and regarded by his peers as the leading poet of his generation. I hope poets will see some fragments of their own thinking in her profile of a man known as 'the gentle titan of Australian letters'. More on Fiona Capp at the end of this essay - KJ
MELBOURNE - Les Murray describes his poetry as “a celebration of life; a contemplation of life in ways that interest and delight people and make them reflective”. Poetry, he says, is “primarily not to be studied, it is to be read”.
Few people could disagree with Murray that the most desirable response to poetry is for it to be read out of love rather than out of a sense of obligation.
Continue reading "‘In our heads is poetry’: An interview with Les Murray" »
COMPILED & EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s health system, precarious at the best of times, has began to buckle under the remorseless impact of Covid.
And PNG Attitude's coverage both here on the blog and on Twitter has been viewed by thousands of people and received hundreds of comments and observations from readers.
I've managed to read most of these and have curated just a few, which I hope will give the flavour of this past, dreadful week, for Papua New Guineans and their many friends in Australia and around the world.
Continue reading "Covid crisis: What PNG Attitude readers say" »
Medical staff work in haste to treat a Covid patient in Port Moresby General Hospital
NOOSA – As Papua New Guinea’s Covid crisis deepens, it has been revealed that the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) morgue is so overwhelmed a mass burial of 200 bodies is being arranged.
The PMGH official Facebook page announced this morning that the hospital “is reaching a crisis point, with services teetering on collapse unless we are immediately given more support.
Continue reading "‘Patients are lying everywhere, the situation is dire’" »
TUMBY BAY - I noticed when I first went to Papua New Guinea in the 1960s that the people tended to be guarded in their interactions with expatriates, but among themselves were quite open and not afraid to display their emotions.
Of course, this was a general observation. Judging people in such a way has its limitations because, at the end of the day, we’re all individuals.
Continue reading "How the political class gives us crap leaders" »
Inside the Port Moresby morgue. Outside the 'no vacancies' sign has been erected as the morgue has reached its capacity of 300 cadavers
NOOSA – I’m under the weather this morning, as I have been for some time, but not so much that I wasn’t shocked by the Covid reports coming out of Papua New Guinea over the last 24 hours.
I’ve received a long-awaited communication from my good friend, the author and journalist Daniel Kumbon in Wabag, who wrote words that both confirmed my suspicions and relieved me greatly.
Continue reading "Today in PNG: The Covid roll call is a shocker" »
Washouts on the Highlands Highway are common. Bridge at Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands, 2016
AUCKLAND – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $325 million (K1.1 billion) to the Papua New Guinea government to upgrade 430 kilometres of the Highlands Highway.
The massive project, which will be a boon to three million people living in the Highlands, was signed by the ADB's Pacific director general, Leah Gutierrez, and PNG treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey
Continue reading "Billion kina bridge-build will boost Highlands" »
Naomi, a support staff member at World Vision in Papua New Guinea (Nelson Kairi Kurukuru)
DANE MOORES & JONATHON GURRY
| Devpolicy Blog
MELBOURNE - The socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are devastating communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste as much as the virus itself, and sometimes to an even greater extent.
In late 2020, World Vision surveyed 752 households (with an average of six people per household) in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
Continue reading "Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific" »
Rupert Murdoch - "In the cold-blooded world of profit above everything, Murdoch has no intention of foregoing precious dollars"
TUMBY BAY - In case you hadn’t noticed, the Murdoch press in Australia has embarked on an unexpected campaign urging action to combat climate change.
To most Australians this appeared to be outrageous hypocrisy given News Corp’s dreadful track record of climate change denial, disinformation and derision.
Continue reading "Murdoch, Money, Morrison & climate change" »
| Bowhunter Magazine
WAHPETON, ND, USA - Famed conservationist J Michael Fay once said of the jungle in the Congo, "We see no human trails in this forest, because there are no resident humans, few visitors and no destinations."
This is what I was thinking about as we boated up the Fly River in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Bowhunting adventure up the Fly" »
CAIRNS - What is unfolding in Papua New Guinea is nothing short of a human tragedy on a significant scale.
Superficially the nation’s woes appear to be the result of corruption. But they are more complex than that.
This is not the first time we have witnessed failures of the state and the inevitable outcomes.
Continue reading "Communities only answer to PNG failures" »
Sarah Kaut-Nasengom (Western Michigan University)
NOOSA – The talented Papua New Guinean researcher and poet Sarah Kaut-Nasengom has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to further her studies into women in politics.
The scholarship will enable Sarah to study for a Master of Arts in political science, focusing on women in politics, at Western Michigan University in the USA.
Continue reading "Poet Sarah aims to empower PNG women" »
Roadside buai seller, Enga Province - PNG showed complacency, avoidance and denial when it needed to be getting ready for Covid's onslaught (gailhampshire, Flickr)
TUMBY BAY - While the Covid-19 pandemic wreaks havoc, misery and death across the world, it is also serving to highlight major shortcomings in governance almost everywhere.
This is nowhere more prominent than in nations that have chosen the path of neoliberalism, with its emphasis on economic growth and the market and belief that government should keep out of the way and let society look after itself.
Continue reading "Can PNG avoid becoming a failed state?" »
Rowan Callick at Griffith University - "Covid's impact is exacerbated in PNG by the failings of its government, corroded by corruption and by corruption's cousin, disinterest"
MELBOURNE - The anguish of our closest neighbours is palpable as the Delta strain of Covid runs riot in Papua New Guinea.
As so often before, the plight of the nine million Papua New Guineans may derive from an ‘act of God’ – a natural disaster or, as now, a pandemic – but its impact is exacerbated by the failings of its government, corroded by corruption and by corruption's cousin, disinterest.
Continue reading "Covid in PNG: A failure of state & a people betrayed" »
Neil Leahy & Rick Giddings, 1987 (Bill Gammage)
SONYA & LARA GIDDINGS
Rick Giddings was buried at Pontville in Tasmania on Tuesday and his family has kindly approved sharing this edited eulogy with his friends from his time in Papua New Guinea - PF
PONTVILLE - Richard James Giddings MBE OAM, our dad, was a good man. He was kind, generous, funny, intelligent and wise. He was a storyteller and a poet.
He lived his 84 years with love, devotion, passion and integrity, whether that be for his family, friends, community, or his work. He was a dear friend and mentor to many.
Continue reading "Rick Giddings MBE OAM: An exceptional man" »
Keith has lost some wind from his sails, which will slow down PNG Attitude for a few days.
That said, your comments and other contributions are welcome and will be published.
Health workers move body bags at the Goroka Hospital morgue (EMTV)
| Radio New Zealand Pacific
AUCKLAND - The Covid-19 crisis in Papua New Guinea is deepening as the country's main hospitals are increasingly swamped by cases.
When the government earlier this year decided the country must learn to live with the virus, health authorities scaled back testing and reporting.
Continue reading "Hospitals struggle as PNG covid crisis deepens" »
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni now have to get the paperwork out of the way after 29 days lost at sea (Photo - Denyse Ealedona)
| Solomon Islands broadcasting Corporation
PORT MORESBY - Two Solomon Islands' men missing for 29 days until rescued off the coast of East New Britain 10 days ago are now in Port Moresby awaiting repatriation.
Mary Walenenea, second secretary with the Solomon Islands high commission in Papua New Guinea, said the men, Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni, are staying at the embassy.
Continue reading "Involuntary voyagers await repatriation" »
David Inau - "Only birds can fly. But having a man in the machine was fascinating"
Captain David Inau, CEO of Sunbird Aviation in Vanimo and a pioneering Papua New Guinean Army aviator, died in Port Moresby on Sunday after being medically evacuated from Boram. He was in the second group of Papua New Guineans to train as PNG Defence Force pilots in Australia in the mid-1970s and in 1979 became the first Papua New Guinean to fly solo in a Machi jet. Journalist Liam Fox has commented on how, in his later career with the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, he “transformed it into a competent, professional outfit”. The article that follows was written by Scott Waide in September 2017 for the Inspirational Papua New Guineans website – KJ
LAE - As a six-year-old, David Inau, watched the legendary American flying Bishop, Leo Arkfeld, transport supplies and other cargo into some of the most remote parts of East Sepik.
At that tender age, the young David decided he wanted to fly planes.
Continue reading "Aviation pioneer David Inau dies in Moresby" »
William Shakespeare Redux - “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, some have leadership thrust upon them and some do purchase it”
TUMBY BAY – A much quoted aphorism on the internet comes from William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” the bard wrote.
What Shakespeare was writing about in 1601 was inherited leadership, such as that of the aristocracy, and the play is, appropriately for our times, framed in a context of a dying society crumbling into decay.
Continue reading "Forget born or made, you can buy leadership" »
Logs stacked for export in Vanimo (Ed Davey, Global Witness)
| The Washington Post
WASHINGTON - The police drove into the Papua New Guinean village of Watwat in SUVs during a rainstorm.
It was late on a July night in 2019, and they’d come through the rainforest, armed with guns and metal bars.
Men and teenage boys were dragged out of bed, beaten and thrown into the mud.
Continue reading "PNG palm oil's corruption & brutality" »
ADELAIDE – Much of yesterday’s fine polemic by Bernard Corden and Keith Jackson, Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle, rang all too true for me, as did Barry Jones’ Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy.
Jones is right, only we as citizens can change anything.
Continue reading "The struggle to retain a people’s democracy" »
Barbara Angoro is in the home run of a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand
| Duressi’s Odyssey
AUCKLAND - In October last year the term ‘drug repurposing’ became known in Papua New Guinea after a company, Niugini Biomed Ltd, stated it was developing its own Covid-19 drug.
As a person with a keen and professional interest in drug development and clinical studies, I’m eager to find out what happened to this proposal by my fellow Papua New Guineans.
Continue reading "The what & how of drug repurposing" »
| K92 Mining
KAINANTU - K92 Mining has donated K100,000 to Femili PNG to support its work in eradicating family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.
‘’We have been in operation for four years and, for us as a new company, we want to be able to support social issues and agendas,” said K92 vice-president Philip Samar.
Continue reading "K92 & Femili PNG join against violence" »
Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in 'Dr Strangelove', a black comedy directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick (1964)
BERNARD CORDEN & KEITH JACKSON
“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil” - Anthony Burgess
“Your Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own” – Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Dr Strangelove)
“Mr President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks” - General 'Buck' Turgidson (Dr Strangelove)
Continue reading "Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle" »
Australia's House of Representatives. Barry Jones was science minister from 1983-90
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
| Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - Only an active citizenry can prevent Australia sliding towards authoritarianism or populist democracy.
Democracy faces its greatest existential crisis since the 1930s. Hitler used democratic forms to come to power in Germany but rejected the democratic ethos.
Continue reading "Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy" »
Filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet - "Ophir is an evocative re-telling of the Bougainville conflict and its legacy over the past two decades"
| Pacific Journalism Review
Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University. 2020. 97 minutes. Link here to read and see more about 'Ophir'
CANBERRA - In Ophir, a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war of 1989-1998, French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today.
Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon.
In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands.
Continue reading "‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom" »
Sir Robert Woods served in the PNG judicial system for 30 years and held pivotal roles in PNG and regional scouting
NOOSA - Sir Robert Kynnersley Woods CBE (1939-2021), a former national and supreme court judge in Papua New Guinea, died in Wellington, NSW, on 23 September aged 81 after a short illness.
Sir Robert had a distinguished career in the PNG judicial system for 30 years from 1970-2000, including as a judge from 1982-99, and in 2001 was appointed a judge of the district court of NSW.
Continue reading "Judge, scout leader Sir Robert Woods dies" »
The Manus detention centre in October 2017 ahead of its closure
| SBS News | Extract
BRISBANE - The end to eight years of Australia's detention of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea has raised concerns for the United Nations' refugee agency and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The AHRC has questioned whether the Australian government is able to relinquish full responsibility for more than 120 detainees who remain in PNG while still adhering to rights and refugee treaty obligations.
Continue reading "Australia strands asylum seekers in PNG" »
CANBERRA – Two Melanesian leaders recently addressed the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York: Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape and Vanuatu's prime minister Bob Loughman.
Both expressed concern about human rights issues in West Papua. In Marape’s case this took only 30 seconds of a 42-minute address while Loughman spent several minutes taking a more assertive approach.
Continue reading "Marape's Papua 30 seconds. God knows the outcome" »
Lost on their boat in the Solomon Sea for 29 days, Livae & Junior were rescued by a lone fisherman
| Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation
HONIARA - Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni have beaten big odds in surviving 29 days lost at sea on a 400 km drift from Solomon Islands until their rescue off the coast of West New Britain last Saturday.
The intended trip already had its risks, a 200 km sea journey in a 24-foot open raebo (ray boat) driven by a single 60 horsepower Yamaha outboard.
Continue reading "29 days: Nanjikana & Qoloni’s big drift" »
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir', a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence
AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa’, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.
Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.
Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »
Win Nicholas - "The number of deaths is unprecedented. We haven’t seen deaths like this before"
| DevPolicy Blog
“Unbelievably too many unprecedented deaths of the loved ones. My heartfelt condolences to the grieving family in this time of sorrow” - recent Facebook post by one of Win’s friends
“Prominent public servants that have spent countless years serving this beautiful province, Enga, are dying.… Over the last one week, we have lost six people that have dedicated their entire life, with kids growing up as Engans. God have mercy on us” - recent Facebook post by one of Win’s friends
PORT MORESBY – Many people aren’t tested, but I personally suspect we are seeing Covid-induced deaths.
Some we definitely know are Covid-19 – one of my colleagues was tested, had Covid and died.
Continue reading "Covid’s silent dead: PNG’s unknown victims" »
Some of the controversial and much unused Maseratis. It's said spare parts may be a problem in PNG but those street mechanics will turn their hands to that
ASIA NEWS DESK
| British Broadcasting Corporation
LONDON - Papua New Guinea has admitted making a ‘terrible mistake’ after struggling to sell a £4.2m (K20 million) fleet of luxury cars bought to impress politicians during a meeting of regional leaders.
The then-O’Neill government boasted the Maseratis would be snapped up after being used for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.
Continue reading "'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe" »
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia. Phil Fitzpatrick found this country more to his liking than a city teeming with consultants
TUMBY BAY - After leaving Papua New Guinea I went to work for the South Australian Museum in a new unit responsible for Aboriginal heritage legislation.
There were less than a dozen of us and shortly after I arrived we were shifted from the museum to a warehouse with attached offices out in the suburbs.
It was a decidedly casual arrangement and on most days when I wasn’t doing fieldwork I turned up at the office in shorts and tee shirt.
Continue reading "The wreckage they left behind" »
Of the thousands of images of the Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville, this must be the most dramatic. An armed guerrilla fighter looks over the deserted mine during the 1988-1998 civil war
‘If you want to change culture you will have to start by changing the organisation’ - Mary Douglas
BRISBANE – In addition to the corporate vandalism and carnage reprised in my Digging & Dumping piece the other day, several other contentious mining ventures await approval from the Papua New Guinea government.
I had included the Wafi-Golpu joint venture southwest of Lae on this list until it received approval a couple of days ago.
Continue reading "Corporate vandalism need not be so" »
ADELAIDE - Over a 40 year career in public service I saw many attempts to reform the organisations that provide it.
All such efforts were aimed in increasing efficiency and productivity and usually required major reorganisations, with changes made according to the ideas or prejudices of the people driving the supposed reforms.
Continue reading "The deliberate corrosion of public service" »
Michael Pascoe, Gladys Berejiklian and Darryl Maguire - "Political corruption has evolved to the extent of politicians claiming it doesn’t matter and voters expect it"
| The New Daily
SYDNEY - Evolution happens. Sometimes it’s fast, turbo-charged by an asteroid; sometimes it’s at the speed of dripping water wearing a channel through rock, but it happens.
Right now we are witnessing a high-speed evolution of political integrity in Australia.
In fairly short order, we’ve gone from a premier grabbing bags of cash and selling knighthoods, to a premier resigning over what might be a matter of diving into the pork barrel to do a mate a favour.
Continue reading "The erosion of Australia’s political integrity" »
TUMBY BAY - This is an interesting question when you consider that Australia will be going to an election fairly soon.
The current Morrison government is irrelevant when it comes to tackling climate change.
The world is moving forward, as are our state governments and corporations, but the federal government is still pathetically twiddling its thumbs.
Continue reading "What to do in case of irrelevant government" »
CAIRNS – In ‘Forty Years Lost’, Dr Joe Ketan has applied a pretty broad brush (a term I picked up from an organisation improvement text in an airport bookshop). However, I believe he quite correct.
I certainly don’t decry the notion that public sector reform is necessary. A cursory look at Papua New Guinea’s development indicators tells you something is badly amiss.
Continue reading "PNG: Reform must be pitched at community level" »
NOOSA – The eminently sensible article by Stephen Charteris, replete with sly hat tips to consultants, took me back.
It took me back to those periods of my career when I was a consultant – and there were many such periods often for big chunks of a long career.
Continue reading "A probably useless glossary of Consultish" »
Dr Joe Ketan - "The failed government systems have set PNG back many years – this time back to the stone age" (DWU)
| My Land, My Country
KUK - Public sector reform is an alien concept to the people of Papua New Guinea.
The idea has been brought into countries like PNG by fly-by-night consultants, whose knowledge seems based almost exclusively on trendy paperbacks purchased at airport bookshops on their way to their new jobs in Third World capitals.
Continue reading "40 years lost on useless reforms" »
| Language Magazine | via Ples Singsing
MALIBU, USA - Papua New Guinea, frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world, is in the middle of a language crisis.
According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever before, instead opting for English and Tok Pisin, an English-based creole language.
Continue reading "PNG’s Indigenous language crisis" »
Chet Nairene's - "“I was no longer really Western anymore, but not quite yet Eastern. Mid-Pacific, maybe?"
Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, June 2021. Independently published, paperback, 394 pages. ISBN-13 979-8745977275. Available from Amazon Australia for $26.34 plus postage
TUMBY BAY - Although Chet Nairene cites novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux as his inspiration, Pacific Dash is more reminiscent of the pulp fiction that was popular in the 1960s in works like Harold Robbins' 1966 pot boiler, The Adventurers.
Continue reading "A corny novel with some real insights" »
James Marape and Pita Lus at this year's Independence Day celebrations in Maprik, just a few weeks before Sir Pita died
NOOSA – Sir Pita Lus, one of the fathers of Papua New Guinea independence, has died in Maprik aged 86 only a few weeks after giving his last public speech.
Sir Pita was elected to seven PNG parliaments, including the first House of Assembly in 1964, his political career ending in 2002 after 38 years. He was knighted in 1979.
Continue reading "Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86" »