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Fought by the young; regretted by the old

Direct questions from a persistent citizen


AUSTRALIA’S SHADOW foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has been tasked by a reader about why the Opposition doesn’t put pressure on the Federal government to take the troubled situation in PNG seriously.

“I have attempted to draw the situation in PNG to the attention of Foreign Affairs Minister Rudd and Opposition Leader Abbott,” wrote Trevor Freestone, in a letter obtained by PNG Attitude.

“Their staff thank me for my communication and things end there.”

Mr Freestone said Australia needs to be aware of what is happening in PNG and develop a plan that will be of benefit both to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

“The main concerns are corruption, mining and logging abuses), lack of effective aid by AusAID, lack of sufficient policing, poor health services to distant rural communities, the list goes on and on,” he said.

Mr Freestone pointed to the problem of deep sea tailings disposal of mine waste into the ocean close to Australian territorial waters and a cited a report stating that half of Australian aid goes to administration with just a small amount reaching its objective.

He also recommended that political staff should refer to websites like PNG Attitude, Act Now! and Mine Watch.

“By searching the web you can find many examples of bad practices in PNG,” he said.

“One has to ask how people were able to get away with this. The question I would like to ask is why do both sides of Parliament choose to ignore most of what is happening in PNG?

“How can a simple person such as myself get you to understand that the people in rural areas just want the nonsense to stop.

“They can see the potential their country has if only the corruption and mismanagement would stop.

“Why doesn't your party put pressure on the government to take the situation seriously?”

They are questions that should reverberate through the corridors and lobbies of the Australia’s Parliament.


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