Penny Wong's new deal for the Pacific

Wong
Australia's foreign minister Penny Wong - "We'll do more, we'll do it better, we'll listen"

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand Pacific | Asia Pacific Report

AUCKLAND - Australia’s new foreign minister, Penny Wong, says the Labor government “will be a generous, respectful and reliable member of the Pacific family”.

In a message to the region, Wong set the tone for Australia’s renewed priorities for its island neighbours.

Continue reading "Penny Wong's new deal for the Pacific" »


New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG

Bloc map korea
US president Joe Biden on Monday in front of a giant map of the Korean peninsula. If the goal is to stifle China, why overlook the Pacific Islands?

KEITH JACKSON

The omission of PNG and the Pacific Islands from the alliance is both a misguided decision and a missed opportunity

NOOSA – It’s a bold if obvious idea that crept onto the agenda while we in Australia were having a general election.

It’s also a flawed idea but, given its general air of contempt towards the Pacific Islands, I’m not surprised the Morrison government let it slide.

Continue reading "New Asia-Pacific economic bloc excludes PNG" »


Advice to a young, ambitious politician

Allan Bird
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird MP - "Behave in ways that best represent our values"

GOVERNOR ALLAN BIRD
| Academia Nomad

Good behaviour is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great strength. Let the ballot box speak

WEWAK – I’ve seen a number of strong comments from young Sepiks and other coastal citizens in support of electing a coastal prime minister.

So let me share my observations on whether this outcome is possible and what it would take to achieve it.

Continue reading "Advice to a young, ambitious politician" »


The timely end of a dangerous government

Teal albo top
Anthony Albanese has to prove himself capable of sorting out the considerable mess that Scott Morrison has left behind

KEITH JACKSON

If Albanese exercises democracy and wisdom in the cabinet room, we will have the best government we can have - and nobody can hope for anything more than that

NOOSA - Yesterday’s man under pressure has survived to become today’s hero – and I’m going to explain why.

For many Australians, the Labor Party’s win in Saturday’s national election seemed an unlikely victory.

Throughout his period as opposition leader, Anthony (Albo) Albanese had sought to present a target so small that nobody could take clear aim at it.

Continue reading "The timely end of a dangerous government" »


Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats

A
Governor Gary Juffa - a formidable politician and not someone an inexperienced candidate would want to take on

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI - I once listened to a talk on a case study drawn from the Oro provincial election of 2017.

It dealt particularly with the challenges women face in elections.

Being from Oro, I listened with interest but was disappointed when I heard the findings, which were not a good reflection of Oro politics.

Continue reading "Note to candidates: Avoid unwinnable seats" »


Can Albanese end the great regression?

Albanese
Anthony Albanese - "A critical component of progress is engaging with people you don't agree with - everything else is the status quo"

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The demise of Australia’s Morrison government hopefully spells the end of nine long years of inertia, incompetence and corruption.

The incoming Albanese government inherits a sea of troubles: unprecedented public cynicism about politics; a degraded Federal public service; an economy about to be smitten by inflation; mountainous debt and fragile asset bubbles; an incredibly destructive European war; and a Chinese economy teetering on the edge of disaster.

This is a grim outlook indeed.

Continue reading "Can Albanese end the great regression?" »


How Albanese could rewrite the script

Australian-parliament-house-canberra
Parliament House, Canberra

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Throughout April and May, John Menadue’s blog, Pearls & Irritations, published a series of expert essays on policies a new Australian government should adopt to improve its performance and effectivendess.

Here are synopses of each of these articles. Follow this link to read them in full.

Continue reading "How Albanese could rewrite the script" »


Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success

Allan Bird
Allan Bird - "If you liked the job I did, give me the mandate to serve you another term"

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

The nomination speech of East Sepik Governor Alan Bird is a model for Papua New Guinea's politicians

WAIGANI – Papua New Guinea’s incumbent politicians are seeking re-election. Generally their campaigns feature one of two narratives.

The first narrative tells voters why the incumbent did not deliver services (for non-PNG readers, our politicians are enabled by law to provide services apart from their law-making duties).

Continue reading "Governor Allan Bird’s narrative of success" »


China lines up to support PNG’s late election

Election Scrutineers  national election 2017 (Johnny Blades  RNZ)
Scrutineers at the national election in 2017 (Johnny Blades RNZ)

KEITH JACKSON

Democracy was hijacked with the vote undermined by brazen electoral fraud and unprecedented violence and insecurity - PNG Election 2017

NOOSA – China is offering assistance to curb election violence in Papua New Guinea, according to a report in today’s The Australian newspaper.

The story by Ben Packham, the paper’s well-connected foreign affairs and defence correspondent, comes ahead of PNG’s five-yearly election starting on Friday 9 July and finishing on Wednesday 22 July after a two-week delay for reasons that are unclear.

Continue reading "China lines up to support PNG’s late election" »


The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme

AABUL RIZVI
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited

Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up

CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.

Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.

The nations from which these workers come has shifted from mainly Fiji in 2019-20 to Vanuatu and Timor in most of 2021.

In more recent months, the Solomon Islands has provided a larger share.

The numbers from Tonga have remained relatively stable at around 30-40 per month. By comparison, few are from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Kiribati and Tuvalu.

The success rate of the asylum applications has been very low.

In 2022 (until the end of April) there were 22 successful applicants from PNG, one from Solomon Islands, two from Fiji, one or two from Samoa and one or two from Tonga.

Most applicants, other than those from PNG, would know they have little chance of success.

The ones who are successful from PNG are unlikely to be on a PALMS visa and more likely involved in politics in PNG.

But by lodging an asylum application, the workers are provided a bridging visa with which they can also apply for work rights.

That maintains their lawful status in Australia at least until their primary asylum application is decided which can take a year or more.

A further application to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal can secure another bridging visa. The backlog is so large (over 36,000 at the end of April), it may take another year or two to process.

Abul Rivzi
Dr Abul Rivzi - "Unsuccessful asylum seekers total about 66,000 at present and are at great risk of exploitation as they have no work rights, social support or Medicare

Because few PALM Scheme workers arrived in Australia during the pandemic, asylum applications from Pacific citizens declined to around 60-80 a month in 2021. In 2022 so far, this has increased to 100-150 a month.

Neither the Department of Home Affairs nor the Tribunal have the resources to cope with the current massive asylum backlogs let alone dealing with a further surge.

Both of Australia’s major parties have committed to significantly boost PALMS visa numbers to supply farm labour and meat workers.

The number of people in Australia on PALMS visas are from Fiji, Kiribati, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor, Tuvalu and Vanuatu and their numbers increased from 5,550 at the end of June 2020 to 16,330 at the end of March 2022.

Without action, the exploitation and abuse of PALMS workers will be turbocharged as their number is ramped up.

But what happens if asylum applications are refused? The answer is very little. The Australian Border Force simply does not have the resources.

In most months, around 10-15 unsuccessful asylum seekers are removed voluntarily but only one or two unsuccessful asylum seekers are removed involuntarily.

On average, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal makes around 500 decisions a month with around 90% of applications being refused.

The unsuccessful asylum seekers who remain in the Australian community (totalling about 66,000 at present) are at even greater risk of exploitation as they have no work rights, social support or Medicare.

Yet the government has no plans to address this. Not surprisingly, difficult problems just get pushed aside.

Dr Abul Rizvi was deputy secretary of the Department of Immigration until 2007. He was awarded the Public Service Medal and the Centenary Medal for services to developing and implementing immigration policy


Addressing the silence of Period Poverty

Manove - Marawaka airstrip
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip

PRISILLA MANOVE

The silent crisis facing women and girls in rural Papua New Guinea

GOROKA - Last year in May, from Queens Pads PNG here in Goroka, I picked up a large box covered in black tape. The contents of this box were 300 reusable sanitary pads.

Reusable sanitary pads are a big step up from the disposable one-time use sanitary pads currently dominating what is termed the feminine hygiene market.

Continue reading "Addressing the silence of Period Poverty" »


Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?

A MPs wait to receive a foreign leader. How many are corrupt
Members of Parliament wait to greet a foreign leader. How many are corrupt?

MICHAEL KABUNI
|Academia Nomad

It’s not just a few people doing the wrong thing. It’s most people doing the wrong thing

WAIGANI - The average turnover of Papua New Guinea’s elected politicians is 50%; at each national election about half of the incumbents lose their seats. 

This is one of the highest rates in the world and has been the case without exception since the first post-independence election in 1977.

Continue reading "Tok stret ia: Is PNG thoroughly corrupt?" »


China v the West in great PNG electricity war

ElecRYAN MURDOCK
| Harvard International Review | Extracts

Compared with China, the West’s contributions to electrification are less tangible and far less financially robust

CAMBRIDGE MA USA - Amidst global discussion of the increasingly competitive dynamic emerging between China and the United States, Papua New Guinea represents a potential battlefield.

As the country works to establish a functional electricity network, Chinese and Western-allied involvement in the process has presented a point of competition.

Continue reading "China v the West in great PNG electricity war" »


Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG

Charteris - boys in canoeSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

Rethinking how primary healthcare services are funded & delivered in rural PNG

CAIRNS – It was nearing dusk when we happened upon the two boys.

Relieved though I was to have found human habitation, I couldn't help observing that a shirtless boy at the front of the canoe likely had tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG" »


Ethnic pressures versus white democracies

A white-australiaCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - While Phil Fitzpatrick's hypothesis in Dividing Not Blending: Multiculturalism in Oz, is broadly correct, I think it is wrong to say categorically that Australia is an unsuccessful multicultural society.

It would be more accurate to describe multiculturalism in Australia as emerging or evolving, presenting a society in which many of the institutional structures and arrangements have yet to adapt to emerging social and ethnographic realities.

Continue reading "Ethnic pressures versus white democracies" »


Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'

A
Sam Basil. The 'belsori' vote following his death increases the prospects of ULP candidates winning seats.

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Many tributes have been written about the late deputy prime minister Sam Basil MP, who died last week after a motor vehicle accident.

In this article, I will write about the impact of Basil’s death on the political party he formed in 2020 - the United Labour Party (ULP) - and its situation leading into the 2022 elections before the tragic accident that took his life.

Continue reading "Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'" »


Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz

Capture
Google 'typical Aussies' and this is what you get - a representation of the Anglo-Celtic constituency

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia certainly has a multicultural society with a wide range of different cultural and ethnic groups among its population – 278 in all.

However Australia has an unsuccessful multicultural society mainly because of the power imbalance between 277 of those groups and the old Anglo-Celtic establishment.

Continue reading "Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz" »


Pacific TB rates continue to climb

regional TB
A regional tuberculosis treatment centre in PNG (World Vision)

STEVEN TRASK
| SBS News

PNG has already seen the emergence and spread of highly-drug resistant TB strains

SYDNEY - While all eyes are on the Covid-19 crisis, one of the world's deadliest diseases continues to haunt the Pacific.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a highly-contagious airborne bacterial infection that attacks the lungs.

Continue reading "Pacific TB rates continue to climb" »


Anti-China racism as war talk stirs Oz

A Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus emerged (AFP)
Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus emerged in Wuhan (AFP)

SU-LIN TAN
| South China Morning Post

It's easy for some politicians to deny racism in Australia when they are not members of  targeted ethnic groups

SYDNEY – Another war is tearing through Australia’s civil society: a war of discrimination, racism and suspicion.

For three consecutive years, Australian politicians have commemorated Anzac Day, a time of remembrance of its war dead, with war-cries.

Continue reading "Anti-China racism as war talk stirs Oz" »


The day I met Daniel Kumbon

A
Daniel Kumbon with me and the beautiful staff member inside the Ribito Restaurant in Waigani

RICHARD NAPAM
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - As he entered the Ribito Restaurant in Waigani, I recognised him instantly.

He had his bilum Enga hat and his long beard which I had seen on the cover of his books and in pictures.

Daniel and his friend placed their lunch orders and chatted away two tables from me.

Continue reading "The day I met Daniel Kumbon" »


‘I’ve changed!’ Scomo’s big last lie

A
Scott Morrison - political abuser reaches the bargaining stage of grief

NICK FEIK
| Editor | The Monthly

MELBOURNE - On Friday, prime minister Scott Morrison came as close as he’ll ever come to conceding that most people don’t like him.

He also said that “there are things that are going to have to change with the way I do things”.

Continue reading "‘I’ve changed!’ Scomo’s big last lie" »


MPs stick around up here in Wide Bay

A Llew-OBrienKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The south-east coastal Queensland seat of Wide Bay comes up for grabs again next Saturday when Australia holds its federal election.

Given the wobbly state of my health, a couple of days ago I cast a postal vote at the very desk where I sit writing this. So I'm in for getting rid of the Morrison government.

Continue reading "MPs stick around up here in Wide Bay" »


Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse

Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain
Lydia Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain

BRENDAN MOUNTER
| ABC Far North

Following her divorce, Lydia pursued her education and went on to become a counsellor and social worker

TOWNSVILLE – Born prematurely in a remote village in New Britain, Lydia Gah learnt to survive from her very first breath.

But it’s her story as the survivor of a 12-year abusive marriage that she’s determined to share with the world.

Continue reading "Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse" »


Stolen designs: The fight to keep tapa Oro’s

Dorah Misirit  from Tufi
Dorah Misirit from Tufi in Oro shows the tapa face tattoos she got as a nine-year old (Godfree Kaptigau)

LEANNE JORARI
| Ples Singsing | The Guardian

“I remember the pain when my mother used the siporo thorn to tattoo my face”

PORT MORESBY - Tapa, a tattooed fabric, has been worn in Papua New Guinea for centuries but there are concerns it has been commercialised.

When Papua New Guinean fashion designer Yaku Ninich wanted to use tapa designs in her work that were inspired by those of her grandmother, she first had to ask her mother for permission.

Continue reading "Stolen designs: The fight to keep tapa Oro’s" »


Reason wants equal rights for PNG visitors

Frank Jordan
Frank Jordan - "To invite New Zealanders to work in Australia but exclude Papua New Guineans shows a deep lack of respect"

FRANK JORDAN
| Reason Australia Party

Reason supports giving Papua New Guinea citizens the same rights to live and work in Australia as New Zealand citizens and offering them legislative protections for fair and safe working conditions

BRISBANE - Papua New Guinea is a nation of nine million people just 10 kilometres north of Australia.

Most Australians will have met someone from New Zealand which has a population two thirds that of PNG. How many can say they have met someone from PNG.

Continue reading "Reason wants equal rights for PNG visitors" »


Australia must back PNG’s bid for an NRL team

Stanley Tepend
Stanley Tepend was today appointed coach of the PNG Kumuls rugby league team replacing long-time coach Michael Marum

STEPHEN BRANCATISANO
| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - In late March, the details of a security deal between the Solomon Islands and China were leaked, sending shockwaves through the Pacific region.

A month later, the Papua New Guinea government launched a bid to enter a team in the Australian national rugby league.

Continue reading "Australia must back PNG’s bid for an NRL team" »


PNG’s national election: Not so secure

Voting-in-2017 (Commonwealth-Secretariat)
Voting at the 2017  national election (Commonwealth Secretariat)

OKOLE MIDELIT
| DevPolicy Blog

WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea’s elections are often dangerous affairs.

In the past, elections have been accompanied by spikes in violence between rival groups, resulting in injury and death. In some areas fraud is rife, and voters face significant intimidation.

Continue reading "PNG’s national election: Not so secure" »


A most desperate need for good leadership

Democracy-problemsSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

CAIRNS - In Abraham Lincoln’s time, messaging was limited to horse and rider and, as electronics became better understood, the telegraph.

News slowly developed as a commodity but, back then, it was largely confined to industrialised countries.

An event of significance happening in mid-19th century India might have appeared as a footnote in the London Times many weeks after the event.

Continue reading "A most desperate need for good leadership" »


Lies have power in age of political fiction

A FrankBruni
Frank Bruni

FRANK BRUNI
| The New York Times

DURHAM, USA - Imelda Marcos’s sandals lived better than I did. I just discovered that.

I was reacquainting myself with that whole sordid history — with the unfathomable extravagance that she and her dictator husband, Ferdinand, indulged in before they were run out of the Philippines in 1986 — and found an article on Medium that said that her hundreds upon hundreds of shoes occupied a closet of 1,500 square feet.

Continue reading "Lies have power in age of political fiction" »


Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?

A Democracy in Crisis (Kal  Freedom House)
Democracy & Human Rights in Crisis (Kal,  Freedom House)

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – There has developed the most depressing reality that people can be seduced by falsehoods once they opt to suspend disbelief and accept as true that which has been fabricated.

In 1858 Abraham Lincoln famously said, ““You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Continue reading "Democracy’s flaws. Could they be fatal?" »


Many promises, but failure to curb log exports

A Log carrierNEWS DESK
| Act Now

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s tropical rainforests have enormous importance locally and internationally, but are under threat from a variety of sources including commercial logging.

The government has committed to drastically reduce the rate of commercial logging.

It has also committed to increase ‘downstream processing’ to increase financial returns by ending the export of unprocessed round logs by 2025.

Continue reading "Many promises, but failure to curb log exports" »


Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid

Bville siwai topNEWS DESK
| New Dawn FM

BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.

He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.

Continue reading "Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid" »


Ex-kiap author shortlisted for UK award

A pic
Anthony (Tony) English - ex-kiap is “erudite in his exploration of unusually difficult issues and ideas"

KEITH JACKSON

Death of a Coast Watcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill Leics UK, 2020, 479 pages. Kindle $9.56, paperback $22.75 from Amazon Books

NOOSA – A psychological thriller with a strong connection to wartime events in Papua New Guinea has been shortlisted by the London-based Society of Authors for an award for a first novel by a writer aged over 60.

Death of a Coast Watcher, by Australian author Anthony English, reviewed early last year in PNG Attitude, has made it to the top niche of entries for this year’s Paul Torday Memorial Prize which will be announced on 1 June.

Continue reading "Ex-kiap author shortlisted for UK award" »


Bongbong wins on a myth as history wanes

A bongbong
Philippines new president Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr was an indulged youth whose excesses came at the expense of the ordinary people of the Philippines who suffered under his father's ruthless rule

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY, QLD -The result of this week's presidential election in the Philippines are a reminder of the adage that ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

With the son of the former dictator and looter of the nation’s resources, Ferdinand Marcos Sr, winning the presidency in a landslide this week, the wheel of history turns and brings to mind the worst excesses of the past.

Continue reading "Bongbong wins on a myth as history wanes" »


Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour

A Port Moresby  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company  London)
Port Moresby,  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company London)

CHRIS WARRILLOW

MELBOURNE - Names often change with time but, after nearly 50 years of independence and 150 years after the arrival of Captain John Moresby, the name of Papua New Guinea’s remains Port Moresby.

Prior the arrival of the first British sailors in 1873, and still today, the traditional inhabitants lived in a few small villages on the harbour shores with many houses built over its waters.

Continue reading "Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour" »


Sea border closed between Qld & PNG

Border
Coastline near Papua New Guinea - Indonesia border (Johnny Blades, RNZ)

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Border crossing arrangements between Papua New Guinea and Queensland through the Torres Strait have been suspended.

PNG's police commissioner and National Pandemic Response controller, David Manning, has declared the new measure under the National Pandemic Act.

Continue reading "Sea border closed between Qld & PNG" »


Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws

Scott Morrison (Mick Tsikas  AAP)
Scott Morrison's government has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for legal requirements and ethical norms (Mick Tsikas, AAP)

MICHAEL KEATING
| Pearls & Irritations

The establishment of an anti-corruption body has been long promised in both Papua New Guinea and Australia, but has never happened. Voters understandably explain this reluctance as an attempt to avoid scrutiny of how public money is spent and of other crucial decisions – KJ

CANBERRA - There is a legislated process prescribing how government grants should be administered, but it clearly is not being followed and we need an integrity commission to enforce it.

An important issue for many voters in the current federal election – particularly the 'Teal Independents' – is government integrity and the need to establish a national integrity commission with teeth.

Continue reading "Morrison is in breach of govt integrity laws" »


Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries

Benjamin Raue
Benjamin Raue - "PNG may want to take a page out of Australia’s book and reduce the power of parliament over redistribution"

BENJAMIN RAUE
| Asia & The Pacific Policy Society

Open electorates should cover similar numbers of people but this is not the case in practice

SYDNEY – Next month, voters in the Pacific’s largest country, Papua New Guinea, will be going to the polls to have their say on who should run their country.

In addition to voting for the country’s 22 provincial governors, Papua New Guineans will also be voting for 96 members representing ‘open’ electorates, which cover the whole country.

Continue reading "Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries" »


The huge damage of political managerialism

A managerialism topCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – Right now, we have a complete overload of dumbness to contend with around the world.

Let me give an example from a field I know something about - hospitals and aged care.

In these health industry sectors, there are some functions that can be effectively outsourced but they are substantially fewer than you might assume.

Continue reading "The huge damage of political managerialism" »


China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles

Illustration - David Rowe
Illustration - David Rowe (AFR)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.”

An epigram usually attributed to Albert Einstein, although there’s no evidence he said it except that it is typical of the great man’s witticisms.

Last night Marise Payne met with Solomon Islands foreign minister Jeremiah Manele in Brisbane to discuss The Most Recent China Problem. Einstein would have understood.

Continue reading "China, Solomons & the Oz diplomatic omnishambles" »


Fired journos fight back with online service

A topKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The eminent journalist Scott Waide has accused the disgraced EMTV network of failing to provide a proper news service to Papua New Guinea after it sacked its entire news team in February.

The journalists had taken a stand against politically-inspired censorship triggered by coverage of the fraudulent misdeeds of a well-connected government crony.

Continue reading "Fired journos fight back with online service" »


When the Treasurer visited Noosa

ben ian keith ingrid stella paul
Ben Jackson, Ian Ling-Stuckey, Keith Jackson, Ingrid Jackson, Stella Paulus & Paul Flanagan - a pleasant afternoon in Noosa

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – My health is so capricious these days I knock back pretty much every request I get to do anything.

It’s like Nature said to me: 'Now it’s settlement time for never knocking back an invite'. It’s a long invoice.

On the rare occasions I accept, I make sure the timing is targeted precisely in a zone when I’m most likely to be alert enough to listen, understand and speak. ME/CFS can reduce a man to surly haplessness.

Continue reading "When the Treasurer visited Noosa" »


Never in PNG: Noosa's pignorant decision

A Daphne Clarkson and Lenny the pig
Daphne Clarkson and Lenny the blind pig

MEG BOLTON & JESSICA LAMB
| ABC Sunshine Coast

MAROOCHYDORE, QLD - Cooroy woman Daphne Clarkson has been given one more week to find a new home for her emotional support companion pig, Lenny.

Ms Clarkson, who has anxiety and a sensory processing disorder, said she did not know how she would cope without her companion animal.

"Being without him isn't really an option, to be truthful," Ms Clarkson said.

Continue reading "Never in PNG: Noosa's pignorant decision" »


A 50-year old tape takes me back

Dial of a Hallicrafters SX-99
Dial of a Hallicrafters SX-99 shortwave radio receiver

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – It had dropped into my Twitter feed via @Laselki, the account of the Lebanon-based Arab Amateur Radio Network, and @Stret_Pasin, a valued supporter and one of my 8,700 Twitter followers.

It had originated in Ontario, Canada, from the historic village of Ancaster close by the US border and Niagara Falls.

It was a fleeting recording of a shortwave broadcast.

Continue reading "A 50-year old tape takes me back" »


Pacific water supply is in big trouble

Children drinking (Joseph Hing)
Image by Joseph Hing

ELEISHA FOON
| Radio New Zealand | Extract

More than two million people in Papua New Guinea have no access to clean drinking water

AUCKLAND - There's concern that addressing water and sanitation challenges in the Pacific has become an afterthought for regional politicians and international leaders.

The Pacific Community (SPC), which provides scientific and technical expertise to the island nations on issues like water and climate change, is reporting a decline in water hygiene initiatives in the region.

Continue reading "Pacific water supply is in big trouble" »


If mainstream media fails, social media saves

A Dr Shailendra Singh - There were appalling examples of disinformation in the 2018 elections. However  social media can be empowering and liberating (Dialogue Fiji)
Dr Shailendra Singh - "Social media can be empowering and liberating" (Dialogue Fiji)

SHAILENDRA SINGH
| Asia Pacific Review | Edited

SUVA - Social media is a mixed bag, with both democratic and undemocratic tendencies. But then few things in life are perfect.

And in that regard social media poses a major dilemma. Not just in Fiji, but many countries that are grappling with how best to tackle it.

This includes even developed countries like Australia.

Continue reading "If mainstream media fails, social media saves" »


Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace

Anzac - dawn service rabaul
The RSL Cenotaph, a clear sky and a calm morning provided the perfect setting for this year's Anzac Day dawn service in Rabaul 

SUSIE McGRADE

RABAUL – In a year that marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Rabaul, more than 80 people attended Rabaul’s Anzac Day dawn service this year, which was hosted by the Rabaul Historical Society at the RSL Cenotaph.

The battle saw a small Australian overwhelmed by Japanese forces in late 1942 and it became the as the main Japanese naval base for the Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaigns.

Continue reading "Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace" »


The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam

A my-aged-care Simon Kneebone
Illustration by Simon Kneebone

GARRY LUHRS

“I always like to firm up vinaigrettes with some facts” – Garry Luhrs

The email came with a tantalising opener, “Hi Keith - I would like this scandal to be advertised far and wide.” In my business, it doesn’t come more pulse-racing than that. The missive came from former kiap and forever humourist Garry Luhrs, but it had a serious message. “This misappropriation of aged care funds is right across the board. Every provider appears to have front trotters and snouts in the trough. They seem to be creaming up to 70% of the funds as administrative expenses. This requires a Royal Commission. Any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.” So folks, if after reading Garry’s revelations you find you’ve had a similar experience, just drop him an email or a note in the Comments section and make sure Garry adds your case to the growing list - KJ

WUNDOWIE, WA - Greetings and salutations, survivors of the great PNG experiment who are still on the perch!

Lend me your eyes and ears. I am in search of volunteers who would like to be recruited to accompany me on my last patrol.

Like Don Quixote I have picked up my drooping old lance and am setting out on this last epic patrol to tilt once more at the windmills of an uncaring bureaucracy.

Continue reading "The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam" »