| 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.
China has taken an active interest in the area. Their involvement with the nearby Solomon Islands has stirred controversy. Their activities in PNG have so far avoided the limelight.
The USA has also taken an interest with the passing of the landmark Global Fragility Act.
It lists four countries and one region in which it will foster peace and long term stability. PNG is one of the four countries nominated.
The US congress has authorised up to $200 million a year for this program.
The act was the result of lobbying by a coalition of peacebuilding, humanitarian, development and faith organisations so hopefully this aid will be community focused.
Australia can play a role too. Jobs are scarce and limited in scope in PNG.
We should allow Papua New Guineans to live and work in Australia. Australia has already managed to accommodate over half a million New Zealanders.
The money repatriated to PNG by these workers will have a significant effect in turbocharging the economy.
Foreign aid which enters at the level of government is vulnerable to corruption.
However this money will enter at the household level and by boosting spending will grow the economy.
The tiny nation of Fiji recorded US$270 million in remittances in 2019. The potential for PNG is much greater.
Returning workers will have acquired skills in jobs not available in PNG. They will be well placed to take advantage of their growing economy.
There are many churches in PNG and these have links with Australian churches. Utilizing these support networks will make it easier for people to find jobs and navigate cultural differences.
Australia will benefit from the cultural exchange. Food is just one of the areas where there is a lot that can be learned.
The SBS program ‘Café Niugini’ explored the distinctive local cuisines and food traditions of just some of the more than 800 cultural groups of this country.
Kokoda Day which commemorates the defeat of the Japanese attack on Australia and PNG can be revitalized. It will lead to closer ties between our two countries.
Ten thousand years ago Papua New Guineans independently invented agriculture and domesticated plants like sugar cane and bananas.
Archaeologists have found evidence for this at the Kuk swamp site.
The people of PNG have shown they have the capacity for innovation and adaptability needed to excel in the wider world.
To invite New Zealanders to work in Australia but exclude Papua New Guineans shows a deep lack of respect.
The next elections in PNG are pending and knowing that the Reason Party in Australia supports jobs for PNG will make it easier for this to be raised as an issue at the PNG election.
Frank Jordan was selected for the second position on the Reason Queensland ticket for the Australian senate. Election material for the party is authorised by E Sinclair, Reason Australia Secretary, 91 Johnston Street, Collingwood VIC 3066