NOOSA - On the back of Australia's disastrous drubbing by China in the Solomon Islands, new research from Papua New Guinea has delivered more bad news for the Morrison government.
In 2021, a coalition of Papua New Guinean researchers embarked on an unprecedented endeavour.
They asked hundreds of ordinary people, including those living in a remote part of PNG, about the strengths and challenges of their country.
What they discovered was both fascinating and astonishing.
For example, people expressed concern for Australia’s ‘lack of respect’ for PNG sovereignty and culture.
And they thought China trumped Australia in its investment in infrastructure in PNG
The researchers also asked about people’s hopes for the future and what they thought the relationship between PNG and Australia.
This research, initiated by the Whitlam Institute, captured a wide cross-section of perspectives and experiences from grass roots citizens - voices rarely heard in official forums.
Overall, respondents were largely positive about Australia, widely praising Australia’s role in supporting PNG financially.
However, concerns about Australia’s perceived lack of respect for PNG sovereignty and cultural norms, were also expressed.
Significantly, China won out over Australia as the country perceived as investing the most in infrastructure in PNG.
The conference will start at 5pm, and you can register to participate at the Whitlam Institute here: [email protected]