The trials of J J ‘Mangrove’ Murphy, 1914-97
Marles, Deakin respond on planned Namorong visit

The uncertain road to Melbourne


ONE DECEMBER AFTERNOON I had suggestions from friends on Facebook about this conference to be held in Melbourne. They said I should write something to present. They thought I had some insights to contribute.

I looked up the conference details and contacted the organisers at Deakin University, Melbourne. Last week I got a response from the university.

If we are to talk about securing a prosperous future for PNG we have to talk about an exit strategy and timetable for all so called development partners to pull out of PNG.

Just as my trip to Melbourne is full of uncertainties, I also do not wish to raise false hopes about me providing answers to what are essentially difficult questions.

What I am certain of this that the current model of development is fundamentally flawed because it is built on the legacy of domination.

Colonisation now has a black face that perpetuates that colonial legacy. You don’t govern your people using a system that was intended to dominate them. You cannot secure a prosperous future unless to address the issue of neo-colonisation.

We need to recognise that the current systems of government are inherited from our colonial masters.

These systems were created for the purposes of taming so called primitive natives and pacifying them.

In other words, they are systems of domination and subjugation and therefore in light of their failure to bring development to the so called primitive natives, continue to serve the original purpose they were created for. 

In Melbourne, in the one paper, I am going to compress as many ideas from my blog as possible.

I hope this to be the most definitive summary of what I believe is right and wrong with PNG and the way forward.


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Martyn Namorong

Basil - The infighting that you are referring to is usually engineered by the companies involved so that landowners remain divided and do not negotiate with the companies from a position of strength.

Some end up supporting the companies position and they usually win out at the expense of their people. This is a fact.

For example, on Friday 25 February, the Commission of Inquiry into the land grab at Josephstaal, Madang, heard that the exploiter, Continental Ventures Ltd, had engineered a split in the landowner company, Urasir Resources Ltd, in order to put in their 'yes man'.

Basil Peutalo

One hypothesis that I have been mulling over in relation to the role and impacts of major development projects such as logging, fishing, mining, oil and gas on landowners and the country at large is this:

"Major social and economic development projects always have the fundamental goal of bringing about good development for the country and its people and in particular the impacted landowners.."

In my periods working as consultant in socio-economic components of such development projects, I have seen landowners fighting among themselves over royalties, equities, female custodians of lands have been pushed out of the line of compensation payment arrangements by male relatives, greed in its bold and ugly forms and ways interferes with fair and just distribution of such packages; almost daily occurrence of altercations between landowners and developers over contractual interpretations and stipulations; developers and State are always harassed over untimely, incorrect or non-payment of so called benefit packages and compensations.

Where is the good - common or selected - that are supposed to be derived from such major extractive and impacting projects? There are so many questions that one can ask over such a scenario.

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