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PNG Platitude: Reacting to Reg & his mates

Australia, stop encouraging PNG corruption!


PNG GOT HER independence in 1975. In the 35 years since, Australia has been propping up PNG's annual budget with free money that now sits at nearly half a billion dollars a year.

This gift from Australian taxpayers is meant to develop PNG and improve the quality of life for ordinary Papua New Guineans. This has not happened.

And we are asking: why hasn't this huge grant from Australia raised PNG out of abject poverty? Where has all the money gone?

We hear insistent demands from well-intentioned people in PNG and Australia for their respective governments to fix the ongoing problems with Australian aid.

Many efforts have since been made to do this. There have been more reviews than in the history of cinema. But there’s the nagging question remains of how to improve the efficiency of AusAID in the mutual benefit of PNG and Australia.

Australia is an incredibly charitable nation, as evidenced by the billions of dollars it has granted to PNG and other developing countries over the years.

It's time for Australia to stop this flow of funds. Giving so much of its hard-earned tax dollars to PNG only props up bad governments that our people believe are corrupt.

It's time new Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard took her country's AusAID program in hand and made a fundamental change none of her predecessors have done. Cut the aid.

AusAID’s reviews are all the same. Cosmetic changes are made to give the impression to citizens of both countries that positive benefits will flow to the PNG people.

But Julia Gillard can change all this nonsense when she visits Port Moresby for the first time later this year or next year.

She needs to also do more for her own poor, especially Australian indigenous people, instead of sending it north of the 10th parallel.

The present approach of giving PNG money to be wasted by our government is fundamentally wrong.

Julia Gillard must cut the AusAID program to zero and in its place see what can be done to increase trade volume between Australia and PNG. This will be more beneficial to the development of PNG and the subsequent well-being of Papua New Guineans.

PNG's poverty is deeply rooted in government corruption, which is fostered by Australian aid.

Australian aid simply enriches errant politicians and their cohorts, distorts our economic system and props up bad government. Australia could send PNG next year a whopping one billion dollars and this country would still be poor and corrupt, and be getting worse by the day.

Australian aid enables prime ministers and governments to gain and hold power without the support of the people. PNG politicians have learned to manipulate foreign governments and obtain an independent source of income (especially from AusAID).

Once comfortably in power, and much to the horror of the Australian and other foreign governments that fund them, PNG politicians subjugate their own people to a miserable life of helplessness and being dependent on political hand-outs.

AusAID gives PNG politicians the power to impoverish Papua New Guineans.

It's time to stop this crime.

Australians should be free to do everything in their power to help Papua New Guineans, whether by donating money or working in our country (for less than monstrous salaries). But foreign aid to PNG does not work, it never has and it must now be stopped.

PM Julia Gillard must now direct her speechwriter to pen a new speech for her future visit to PNG. It should be entitled The New Order Australia-PNG Partnership.

Julia, it's time to cut aid and increase trade between our two countries. When this happens, watch us move. PNG will comfortably pay her way and become less dependent and more prosperous.

And our people will long remember an Australia PM for her toughness to assist our country become more independent, overcome poverty and fight corruption through good governance; and of having a more responsible and accountable government in office.

I invite readers to an open discussion of what Australia should do now about PNG.

The response should be interesting. It may even allow the Australian High Commission in PNG to better advise Canberra before Julia Gillard pays us a courtesy call as Australia's first woman Prime Minister.

When she does, we will welcome her with open arms, as we did Kevin Rudd.


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Bruce Allen

I used to voice my opinion and offer theoretical solutions on other peoples problems until I realized how little was still getting down to the beautiful souls of PNG.

So I stopped typing for a while and started thinking. I'm still thinking but I'm also acting. (Not that there is anything wrong with talking, it got me to here.)

I'm in the process of starting a non profit organisation that provides scholarships for kids in PNG. We will also be providing uniforms and stationery etc so the recipients family won't have to bare any associated costs.

I will be able to provide media in the next month or so when I have everything registered and legal.

If anyone is interested in becoming a little more active please contact me at [email protected]

Buka Toansi

I agree with Reginald and wonder what Tony Abbott will do about PNG and how he will go about this issue if he wins this election.


With the election and all, I asked my local ALP candidate for a copy of their policy for reforming overseas aid (called Development Assistance).

They sent me a white paper by Stephen Smith describing what they see as success stories and outlining reforms that are planned (with many references to PNG). I am not speaking on their behalf, but thought this might be of interest.

I quote -

"Improving the effectiveness and the accountability of our aid, Federal Labor will refocus the aid program...and make it more accountable (by means of)...

- reforming AusAID by establishing it as an Executive Agency directly responsible to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, a Cabinet Minister, who is assisted by a dedicated Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance

- implementing the recommendations of the December 2009 review of AusAID by the Australian National Audit Office

- undertaking a review of the use of technical advisers in the delivery of international development assistance, to ensure that each position is effective and providing value for money."

The development priorities to be focussed on are -

Improving access to Education, including abolishing school fees and providing better support for girls and disabled children. They will also provide funds to improve schools teaching and physical infrastructure, and spend more on TAFE and vocational training.

Improve access to clean water supplies and sanitation, especially in poor urban and remote rural areas.

Helping Pacific countries to tackle climate change issues.

Improve the treatment of avoidable blindness by improving eye-care services especially in PNG, and training more eye health workers.

Eliminate violence against women, including increasing funding to Churches, NGO's and local community groups who are working in this area.

Delivering a new, enhanced volunteers program with up to 1,000 volunteer places each year."

Patrick Scarle

What a worry this all is. Just read the article in Tuesday's Australian about lack of accountability for $15 billion. It's scary.

Robin Lillicrap

Challenging thought, Reginald. I suspect in all too short a period of time, PNG's benefactor will have more than enough troubles of her own than to be able to sustain the continuity of annual aid payments as have become traditional.

Thus, your cautions about the stemming of the flow of funds are likely to be realised as Australians awake to the enormity of their own indebtedness.

The current murmurings about cap-and-trade are progressively aimed at revisiting the Copenhagen scenario once more; though, this time it is not so likely "climate change" will be as much the motivator but the irritant, as a green agenda is pursued to pacify the planet's uneasiness over the likes of oil pollution and tailings dumps destroying pristine oceans.

The real bogeyman in the equation though is global indebtedness. Australia as a prime player in the G20 group is poised to remain stable for a little longer as the devaluation of world-reserve currencies proceeds to a point where a universal currency can be brought to bear.

I cite the following drawn from an article appearing today on my desk: In 2008, as the engineered global financial crisis was beginning to pick up steam, trend forecaster Gerald Celente said that the US dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 percent.

Celente’s track record is impeccable. He successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis and the sub-prime mortgage collapse. “The consequence of what we have seen unfold this year would lead to a lowering in living standards,” Celente notes in his blog, 'Trends & Forecasts'.

None of this is a mistake. The euro is following the dollar down the tubes. The IMF and the United Nations suggest replacing these currencies with special drawing rights (SDRs), an international reserve asset that is used as a unit of payment on IMF loans and is made up of a basket of currencies.

“A new global reserve system could be created, one that no longer relies on the United States dollar as the single major reserve currency,” a UN report states.

During the G20 confab in 2009 plans were announced for implementing the creation of a new global currency. “There is now a world currency in waiting,” a communiqué released by the G20 stated.

“The creation of a Financial Stability Board looks like the first step towards a global financial regulator” and thus a world bank as a component of one-world government."

Further: “Ultimately, what this implies is that the future of the global political economy is one of increasing moves toward a global system of governance, or a world government, with a world central bank and global currency,” writes Andrew Gavin Marshall.

“Concurrently, these developments are likely to materialise in the face of and as a result of a decline in democracy around the world, and thus, a rise in authoritarianism.

"What we are witnessing is the creation of a New World Order, composed of a totalitarian global government structure.”

Marshall notes that the very concept of a global currency and global central bank is authoritarian and removes any vestiges of oversight and accountability away from the people toward a small, increasingly interconnected group of international elites.

Australia currently enjoys a calm amidst the storms of others difficulties. This will likely change when the Euro and the $US finish their slide resulting in a lowering of demand for Aussie minerals.

PNG nationals may be better placed than many to resort to local family gardens to support themselves in the coming crisis.

As food prices increase and wages decline, needs may dictate that course anyway as Government will be ill- placed to support average "Joe-Citizen."

Barbara Short

Good article by Jock Cheetham in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ this morning about volunteers working in East Timor. I guess there are many working in PNG too.

I notice in this SMH article that AusAID is sponsoring some of the volunteers in East Timor. I think Australia could do more to help PNG with volunteers.

Hopefully good things will come after young Australian hike the Kokoda track and the other tracks that are being developed. More Australian schools need to be involved.

Nancy Sullivan

But do we throw the baby out with the bath water when we call for a halt to AusAID?

Trevor Freestone.

It seems that Australia hands out all this aid money without proper supervision. They are afraid that if they stop Indonesia will take over giving aid and thus eventual control.

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