Comment & opinion Feed

The fallacies at the heart of neo-liberalism

NeoCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – In the extract from his book, ‘You’ll Never Work Again – The Great Safety Charade’, Bernard Corden has given us a great example of where letting the market rip, unfettered by effective regulation, combined with blindingly obvious conflicts of interest, leads to disaster in the service of accumulating vast profits.

And, once again, "the weak suffer what they must".

Continue reading "The fallacies at the heart of neo-liberalism" »


After the crisis – more of the same?

Harvey
Australian businessman Gerry Harvey - bragging about doing well out of coronavirus panic and exulting in other people's distress

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There is an interesting and still underlying debate going on about what will happen once the COVID-19 crisis abates.

On the one hand there is the expected conservative view that everything should return to normal.

This is promulgated by most politicians in Australia and elsewhere and seems to be the accepted view of businesses and the public at large.

Continue reading "After the crisis – more of the same?" »


Now we learn they can’t handle a crisis

CVPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - One thing is becoming abundantly clear as the coronavirus epidemic rapidly escalates.

And this is that any government based on an ideology of neo-liberalism is the worst possible model to deal with a crisis of this magnitude.

This is most apparent in the USA, the home of laissez faire capitalism, where confusion reigns supreme and the virus is uncontrollably rampant.

But it is also becoming evident in Australia.

At the moment there are huge queues of people outside Centrelink offices who have lost their jobs because of the lockdown of businesses.

Continue reading "Now we learn they can’t handle a crisis" »


Coronavirus & the ignorance of privilege

Simon Jackson (2)
Simon Jackson; Will coronavirus forge a new realisation of the world as it is, or reinforce the bastions of privilege?

SIMON JACKSON

AUCKLAND - Like many people who have lived deeply in developing countries and been exposed to crises people in 'developed' nations see only on TV or at the movies, an observation by Chris Overland in PNG Attitude yesterday hit home for me.

Amongst much else worth thinking about, Chris wrote in 'Coronavirus: A warning from history', that whatever else awaits us in the aftermath of this coronavirus epidemic, “we will not be able to sit here, fat, dumb and happy, while bad things happen to other people."

Continue reading "Coronavirus & the ignorance of privilege" »


Bad governance & lots of tok gris

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Fake government applying Band-Aids and painting over them with  spin and empty rhetoric"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When mounting evidence suggests that a government is corrupt and they fail to adequately address the evidence, what can be done about it?

The short answer, of course, is not to vote for them. But if they are electorally secure and their term of government has some time to run, well, other options are severely limited.

Continue reading "Bad governance & lots of tok gris" »


Getting it right in energy deals

Pnyang-lng
P'nyang gas field - Is PNG squeezing energy companies too hard when it should be fixing a leaking pipe?

IAN RITCHIE

PORT MORESBY - "A fair deal is not merely squeezing a large slice of ice cream out of our development partners and then losing most of it through a horribly broken and hopelessly leaking pipe," wrote David Kitchnoge in PNG Attitude yesterday.

A clear and pragmatic observation.

Continue reading "Getting it right in energy deals" »


So PNG, what is a fair deal?

Exxon
"Our criticism of Exxon Mobil and other development partners in the resources sector is as much a criticism of ourselves"

DAVID KITCHNOGE

PORT MORESBY - The politics of bigman, the economy of wastage and a public service that has become 'private service for a tip' all combined to deliver prime minister James Marape's ground breaking announcement last Sunday rejecting the P'nyang gas deal.

Mr Marape’s speech rejecting the P'nyang gas deal had been written over the years. It was a speech really aimed at an audience close to home. And if we didn't get it, we have a problem. The irony is that I'm not even sure the PM himself gets it.

Continue reading "So PNG, what is a fair deal?" »


Decline & Fall, Mk II

DystopiaCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - My article, We the People, described how ruling elites, with rare exceptions, fail utterly to recognise or understand the paradigm shifts that lead to their demise.

Even if the elites do see the emerging danger, they invariably think that the usual mechanisms of suppression - subversion, persuasion, coercion and violence - will work in their favour.

Continue reading "Decline & Fall, Mk II" »


The view from down here

Philip Kai Morre
Philip Kai Morre - "Culture is meant for change and we are in a global village adapting to new ways of doing things"

PHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - As a son of a Stone Age man, and having experienced the beauty of cultural heritage, I tried to hold back in my naturalistic fallacy of retaining good cultural values, norms and a belief system in the traditional mode. But conditions did not, and do not, allow.

So I go with the current cultural, economic, political and ideological changes and embrace modern science and technology.

Continue reading "The view from down here" »


PNG must change its spending systems

Allan Bird
Governor Allan Bird - "Right now the only real check and balance is the individual"

ALLAN BIRD
| Governor, East Sepik Province

WEWAK - Our country is overrun with corruption because we do not have effective checks on power.

There is a complete lack of checks and balances in the system. In fact I would say that there aren’t any checks and balances at all.

We negotiate for an opportunity to spend money. Everyone spends public money, from the prime minister all the way to the local level government presidents, ward members and public servants.

Continue reading "PNG must change its spending systems" »


The enigma of James Marape

Aunt
An elderly aunt in Indiana (not Phil Fitzpatrick's)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I’ve got an elderly aunt in Indiana, USA, who thinks Donald Trump is wonderful. She was a volunteer in his 2016 election campaign and is thinking about doing it again this year.

My aunt thinks Barack Obama was the worst president that America ever had and that the Democrats are socialists who will destroy America.

Continue reading "The enigma of James Marape" »


Young Tess’s Pacific predictions 2020

Tess Newton Cain (2)
Tess Newton Cain

TESS NEWTON CAIN
| Devpolicy Blog

BRISBANE - As we enter not only a new year but a new decade, there is much to anticipate in the Pacific islands region.

Elections and domestic politics

A number of countries in the region will have elections during 2020: Kiribati, Niue, Palau and Vanuatu.

The lingering discontent in Kiribati surrounding last year’s switch in diplomatic relations from Taiwan to China may have an adverse impact on the incumbent government.

Continue reading "Young Tess’s Pacific predictions 2020" »


Christianity is a good fit for PNG

Mass at a church in Papua New Guinea (Michal Knitl  Shutterstock.com)
Mass at a church in PNG (Michal Knitl,  Shutterstock.com)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - One of the distinguishing features of human beings is our ability to create myths and stories.

These narratives entertain but also perform a much more important role in setting ethical and behavioural standards.

Some of the greatest mythical inventions appear as religious texts, like the Bible and the Koran, but there are also secular myths that serve the same purpose.

Continue reading "Christianity is a good fit for PNG" »


Alas, everything’s a deal these days

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick - "These days the strategic value of the small Pacific island nations is just as much a commodity as oil, gas and metals"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Ever since neo-liberalism gained ground in the 1990s governments have persistently used economics to define their policies.

Neo-liberalism is used to refer to market-oriented policies such as eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers and reducing state influence in the economy, especially through privatisation and austerity.

Continue reading "Alas, everything’s a deal these days" »


Bougainville: Powder keg awaiting a match?

Bville2
"A truth commission might provide an easing valve for past hurts, short of that Bougainville remains a powder keg, awaiting to be lit"

BINOY KAMPMARK
| Eurasia Review

ALBANY, USA - It would be an understatement to claim that Bougainville, that blighted piece of autonomous territory in Papua New Guinea, had been through a lot. 

Companies have preyed upon its environment with extractive hunger.  Wars and civil strife have beset its infrastructure and economy.

Continue reading "Bougainville: Powder keg awaiting a match?" »


Is greed natural? Is O'Neill real?

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick - "In PNG rural communities still operate as consensus driven entities ruled by the common good"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In the 1987 film, Wall Street, the central character, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, famously says: “… greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right. Greed works.”

The 1980s was the era of the ‘yuppies’ (young, upwardly-mobile professionals) during Ronald Reagan’s conservative presidency and the reign of his British equivalent, the ‘Iron Lady’, Maggie Thatcher.

Continue reading "Is greed natural? Is O'Neill real?" »


I don’t listen to opinion traders

Opinion
"Those poor dumb bastards haven’t the faintest idea about what life is all about, so why should I listen to them?"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Over the years I’ve learned that the opinions of certain people are best left ignored.

These include the opinions of shock-jocks, celebrities, reality and lifestyle television hosts and most politicians. They all carry biases that are subjective, value-ridden and sometimes positively dangerous.

Just lately I’ve started to include people from the so-called professions, including doctors and medical specialists, and people in certain trades, like motor mechanics. Many of these people now seem driven solely by a profit motive.

Continue reading "I don’t listen to opinion traders" »


Vanuatu gets nasty on journalism

Dan_McGarry
Dan McGarry -  After 16 years in Vanuatu, the highly respected Pacific islands journalist was harangued by the prime minister for “negative reporting” then had his work permit revoked

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – If a government is ever involved in something, anything, and it looks like a stitch-up, then you’re right to assume it is indeed a stitch-up.

And here at PNG Attitude we assume that the Vanuatu government is guilty of trying to remove Daily Post newspaper director Dan McGarry from his job and from the country on a pretext.

Why? Because the government knows his journalism is  telling the truth.

Continue reading "Vanuatu gets nasty on journalism" »


Brutal reaction to handout of luxury cars to MPs

Marape
Oops, prime minister, you just blew up your credibility in one crazy decision. Or will Mr Ngangan take this one himself on behalf of the team?

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Last Thursday, when James Marape despatched his bureaucrat Ken Ngangan to advise the public through the Post Courier newspaper that all 111 members of parliament will get vehicles from the APEC fleet “for their electoral duties”, he must have anticipated there would be a strong reaction.

After all, the purchase of the vehicles a year ago had triggered a story that travelled around the world a few times before hitting the ground as yet another example of the greed and excess of the O’Neill government – which Marape and his brothers deposed in May bringing hope to the nation.

Continue reading "Brutal reaction to handout of luxury cars to MPs" »


For his credibility, Marape needs to gaol O’Neill

O'Neill and Marape in happier times
O'Neill and Marape in happier times - Phil Fitzpatrick writes that now Marape needs to act against O'Neill to preserve the credibility of his own leadership

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When politicians make a commitment to the public, whether at an election or in the course of governing, they are essentially laying their credibility on the line.

Even if the commitment is something they know will be hard to deliver, it still reflects on their credibility if they fail.

And, if this happens, a shrewd politician will admit to the failure and ask the public to understand that they tried.

Continue reading "For his credibility, Marape needs to gaol O’Neill" »


Secular or religious, ethics remain key

ClarkePHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Social evolution, just like biological evolution, doesn’t proceed in straight lines, there are stops and starts, divergences, reversals, regressions, regional differences and sometimes dead ends.

Just as we are not on a path of natural evolutionary improvement neither are we on a natural path of constant social improvement.

Continue reading "Secular or religious, ethics remain key" »


No meek, no rich: The gospel according to Phil

Gospel
“Blessed are those with dirt under their fingernails and no bank account, for they shall inherit the earth” (Phil 1:1)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Among its multitudinous and often conflicting predictions, adages, sayings and slogans the bible includes the curious assertion that “blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

In typical chauvinistic fashion it defines meekness as a solely human attribute, preferably confined to the male gender. In the ‘good book’, women and girls, as well as dogs and cats, don’t get a guernsey when it comes to leadership.

Continue reading "No meek, no rich: The gospel according to Phil" »


The opportunist who came & now must go

Shila Yukuli Paia
Shila Paia - "Is O’Neill above the law? None of us is above the law. We call on him to be prosecuted and to comply with legal proceedings"

SHILA YUKULI PAIA

ADELAIDE - I am a proud Papua New Guinean who will always stand very tall and speak boldly, loudly and clearly knowing that PNG is one of the best democracies.

In this context I have some observations to make on the saga of the attempted arrest of former prime minister Peter Charles Paire O'Neill, another critical moment in the history of PNG’s political development.

Continue reading "The opportunist who came & now must go" »


Tribal conflicts burden wild west Enga

Porap Gai
Porap Gai - "If the judiciary punished the guilty more honestly then there would be less or no violence"

PORAP GAI

LAIAGAM - The Papua New Guinea government needs to establish firmer law and order.

I am not a politician, I am a pastor. I have the pastoral responsibility for the innocent lives so often lost.

Lack of discipline is of concern due to the wantok system. There must be better rule of law in place to allow everyone to live in security.

Continue reading "Tribal conflicts burden wild west Enga" »


Sharing culture with foreign friends

Kumbon - PNG flag in NYC
“Nothing makes me happier than to lift up the glorious flag of a thousand tribes here in the heart of New York City"

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - My mind was blown away to see the young man display the Papua New Guinea flag on Times Square in New York City during recent independence day celebrations.

The choice words he used to express his genuine love for this country truly touched my heart. And he was a foreign national.

Continue reading "Sharing culture with foreign friends" »


MPs should not condemn Marape’s dream

Alphonse Mek
Alphonse Mek - "Marape is our country’s prayer answered – the leader who emerged after eight years of dejection"

ALPHONSE MEK

ENGA - Since James Marape, this son of a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, became prime minister of this blessed nation, there have been many criticisms, denunciations as well as condemnation on the subject of his theme to make it “the richest black Christian nation in the world.”

The theme is not new, because God has already blessed this nation more than the rest of the Pacific island nations as well as at a global level.

Continue reading "MPs should not condemn Marape’s dream" »


Panguna people & the money syndrome

Gold dust
Digging for gold near Panguna - "We dig for gold everywhere. And those who can't dig watch like eagles"

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - There is no other place in Bougainville I can compare with us, the Panguna people, when it comes to loving and dealing with money.

We in Panguna have eagle sharp eyes and razor sharp claws to catch and attack money.

We make peace with money and we destroy harmony with money. Money is us.

Continue reading "Panguna people & the money syndrome" »


Is moral capitalism even possible?

Moral capitalismPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Leonard Fong Roka has suggested that rather than being exploited by domestic and international forces an independent Bougainville needs a form of moral capitalism to succeed and achieve its destiny.

Is such a thing as moral capitalism possible or is it too late in the day to create the conditions where such a thing might exist?

Continue reading "Is moral capitalism even possible?" »


Rich paradise or poor third world nation?

Apprehensive boyJEFFREY FEBI

LUFA - There's disagreement about whether Papua New Guinea is rich or impoverished.

Many people, including leaders like Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and current prime minister James Marape, support the view that we are in fact rich.

Many others, including myself, differ. We believe Papua New Guinea is a poor nation.

Continue reading "Rich paradise or poor third world nation?" »


There cannot be peace without justice

Albert Schram in POM
Albert Schram - "The human spirit craves for liberty and justice. Both have a strange way of being unstoppable in their paths"

ALBERT SCHRAM

The last of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

“Our lives are a battlefield on which is fought a continuous war between the forces that are pledged to confirm our humanity and those determined to dismantle it; those who strive to build a protective wall around it, and those who wish to pull it down; those who seek to mold it and those committed to breaking it up...." (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - Despite the disastrous economic situation in Papua New Guinea while I was UNITECH vice chancellor from 2012 to 2018, and the far from propitious operating environment, we were able to produce many positive changes at the university.

Continue reading "There cannot be peace without justice" »


PNG’s odd racialised post-colonial morality

Albert Schram's OK
Albert Schram's doctorate was four times  legitimised - by the awarding entity in Europe, twice by independent inquiries in PNG and once by a PNG court - but its veracity was constantly questioned by political enemies who wanted him out

ALBERT SCHRAM

The second of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

“There are some people, be they black or white, who don’t want others to rise above them. They want to be the source of all knowledge and share it piecemeal to others less endowed” (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - People have asked me if standing up against corruption and speaking truth to power was difficult. For me it never was. We all know what is right and what is wrong.

Continue reading "PNG’s odd racialised post-colonial morality" »


Delusional O’Neill's calamitous legacy

Albert Schram and graduates
Albert Schram and graduates - 50% of highlands' university students are unable to pay their fees on time

ALBERT SCHRAM | Edited

The first of three articles based on Chapter 4 of Dr Schram’s memoir, ‘Experiences of a Vice Chancellor in Papua New Guinea’. Link here to read the full chapter

"We think of politics in terms of power and who has the power. Politics is the end to which that power is put" (Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Kenyan writer and academic)

VERONA - I want to thank my more than 7,000 followers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for their encouraging comments on this series, and Keith Jackson for publishing the short versions.

Continue reading "Delusional O’Neill's calamitous legacy " »


Bougainville: If it’s to be capitalism, let it be moral

Roka - Leonard on the shore at Kangu
Leonard Roka on the shore at Kangu - looking across to the Solomons triggers thoughts of the small friends who helped Bougainville achieve its post-crisis peace

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - The population of Bougainville is around 300,000 so, when looking at other small Pacific island states and their standard of living, the province’s development does not need a mine operating at the scale we knew at Panguna before the Bougainville conflict.

All of us know that the Papua New Guinea government does not clothe us, it does not feed us and it does not protect us.

Continue reading "Bougainville: If it’s to be capitalism, let it be moral" »


A decent education is a human right

Classroom at Pakura Primary School
In the classroom at Pakura Primary School

SHILA YUKULI PAIA

ADELAIDE - Every now and then I frantically try to write something that will provoke educated discussion. And what better a subject than Education itself.

Nelson Mandela - a great man of wisdom, charisma and grace - taught us that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” What did he mean?

Continue reading "A decent education is a human right" »


Contrarians & writers needed more than ever

Non conformPHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Bernard Corden, in commenting on Chris Overland’s article about neo-colonialism, made an interesting point about indoctrination as a function of education.

For the ruling classes in any political system - be it democratic, autocratic or totalitarian - inculcating an ideology in the young is an invaluable tool in exercising and retaining power.

Continue reading "Contrarians & writers needed more than ever" »


Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue

Isaac Lupari
Isaac Lupari chairs MRDC where "everything it does is shrouded in secrecy"

MEKERE MORAUTA
MP for Moresby North-West and former Prime Minister

PORT MORESBY - The Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) needs to publish up-to-date audited details of its group finances since PNG LNG gas production began in mid-2014.

MRDC manages landowner equity interests in both mining and petroleum projects and is chaired by chief secretary Isaac Lupari.

Continue reading "Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue" »


Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business

Not personalCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The sanctions imposed upon Iran by the USA are causing a huge amount of damage to that country’s economy.

The people of Iran, as distinct from the ruling regime, are suffering a great deal as a consequence.

What surprised me was that an apparently quite closed and tightly controlled economy like Iran’s was so susceptible to the influence of the US government’s edicts.

Continue reading "Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business" »


O’Neill continues to deceive on district funding

Peter O'Neill
Peter O'Neill has been been exaggerating the value of funding he provided for district development

ERIC SCHERING

MICHIGAN, USA - Former prime minister Peter O’Neill seems slow to understand the implications of the reality that he is no longer the leader of Papua New Guinea.

He thinks that when new prime minister James Marape attempts to pass legislation that he disagrees with, that he can tell the untruths he was able to get away with during his seven years in power.

Continue reading "O’Neill continues to deceive on district funding" »


Did 'presource curse' just deliver a pile of dung?

Continue reading "Did 'presource curse' just deliver a pile of dung?" »


Can PNG become the 'richest black Christian nation on earth'?

Black Christian Countries (Source Devpolicy Blog)
Black Christian Countries (Source: Devpolicy Blog)

ANDREW KORYBKO | Eurasia Future

MOSCOW - The new prime minister of Papua New Guinea only entered office a few months ago after a long-running political scandal led to the resignation of his predecessor, Peter O'Neill.

But he’s already making waves with his ambitious vision of turning this resource-rich but poverty-stricken island country into “the richest black Christian nation on earth”.

James Marape made his Trump-like nationalist proclamation in late July during his visit to Australia, which was his first foreign trip since assuming his position.

Here he also spoke about his plan of one day “participating with Australia looking after smaller island nations”.

Continue reading "Can PNG become the 'richest black Christian nation on earth'?" »


Increasingly hysterical Australia is bad news for PNG & the region

Illustration by Dionne Gain (Sydney Morning Herald)
Illustration by Dionne Gain (Sydney Morning Herald)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia watchers in places like Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands will have noticed that in the last few years a profound cultural change in their southern neighbour is in progress.

The main driving force of this change is a kind of paranoia driven by a largely politically orchestrated national fear.

One of the effects of this hysteria is that we Australian people seem to be sacrificing our basic liberties and, more profoundly, our humanity.

This is well illustrated by our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers but is also manifest in our trampling of the sovereignty of some of our neighbours and the moves to shut down the freedom of our own press and media.

Continue reading "Increasingly hysterical Australia is bad news for PNG & the region" »


Wild Cat: A fraud uncovered & in dire need of investigation

Eric Schering
Eric Schering - time for something to be done about a K30 millon fraud

ERIC SCHERING

WEWAK - By April 2019 prime minister Peter O’Neill was clueless about the depth of opposition to his leadership of Papua New Guinea.

He genuinely believed he would win a vote of no confidence hands down.

In the 3 May 2019 issue of The National newspaper, the title of one of the leading articles had O’Neill saying, “I’m Safe”.

The article quoted him saying that the opposition had “no hope of being successful with a vote of no confidence.” One month later he was out of office and sitting on the back bench.

O’Neill had badly miscalculated the level of support within his own party as well as the backing of his broader coalition.

One of the earliest MP’s to abandon O’Neill was Governor Philip Undialu. In the 28 April 2019 issue of PNG Attitude, Undialu says, “Since the first shipment of gas [LNG] in 2014, over K70 billion has been earned but O’Neill is not telling the country where the money was parked.” K70 billion!

Continue reading "Wild Cat: A fraud uncovered & in dire need of investigation" »


Colonisation will not cut it any more in our beloved islands

Corney
Corney Alone - "It was crystal clear that Australia’s attempted bullying was sponsored  from the pouch of the coal and fossil fuel industry"

CORNEY KOROKAN ALONE

PORT MORESBY – They were very strong words from the Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama: the sentiments of the rest of the Pacific Islands leaders captured in his views.

“China never insults the Pacific," Bainimarama said. "They don’t go down and tell the world that we’ve given this much money to the Pacific islands. They don’t do that.

"They’re good people, definitely better than Morrison, I can tell you that. The [Australian] prime minister was very insulting, very condescending, not good for the relationship….”

My own prime minister, James Marape, upon returning from Tuvalu acknowledged that "there is a climate change crisis in the region".

He further stated that he "will be vocal about it when he attends the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September this year".

Australia, or any other so-called leader of the free world, must know that Pacific Islands people value relationships.

Continue reading "Colonisation will not cut it any more in our beloved islands" »


Breaking the hearts of our Pacific friends & neighbours

Enele Sopoaga
Enele Sopoaga - "We are already crossing the red lines to keep, to save, the small island countries"

EMAIL | The Australia Institute

CANBERRA - Last week the Pacific Island Forum made clear that new coal mines were a 'red line' issue.

Its final communique made clear to the world what the Pacific nations require of its neighbours, including Australia: the survival of Pacific Island nations requires no new coal mines.

While Pacific Island leaders deserve congratulation for their vocal call for no new coal mines, it is a disappointment that Australia has bullied any language of a ban or limitation of new coal out of this week's 50th Pacific Islands Forum communique.

Australians cannot underestimate the importance of taking climate action, particularly in the Pacific. As the UN Secretary-General has said, “if you can save Tuvalu, you can save the world”.

Continue reading "Breaking the hearts of our Pacific friends & neighbours" »


Climate change - & the deafness of those unwilling to face reality

B&w Overland
Chris Overland

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - What passes as the climate debate seems to me to typify what is happening in our world today.

Those who occupy what might broadly be described as a conservative political position seem unwilling or unable to grasp the scale of the problem or its probable consequences.

As a result, they are quite unwilling to contemplate the economic and lifestyle trade-offs required, especially in the so-called developed world, to ameliorate the worst effects of the change process that is clearly and unequivocally occurring now.

Those who have what is called a progressive political outlook see the oncoming disaster but are apparently incapable of galvanising sufficient public support to induce governments to do anything meaningful.

Partly at least, this is because the progressive forces often are also the proponents of the sort of identity politics around sexual preferences, ethnicity, and so forth that have so material assisted the resurgence of ‘white nationalism’ that they despise.

Continue reading "Climate change - & the deafness of those unwilling to face reality" »


More than a belief in miracles to get out of this climate mess

Phil Fitz
Fitzpatrick - "For Morrison and many of his cohorts empirical science is something they view with scepticism"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings but if the people of the Pacific believe that the Australian government will do anything meaningful about climate change they are sadly mistaken.

Australia currently has a conservative government with an undeclared core of climate change deniers in its ranks.

If that isn’t discouraging enough it is also led by a prime minister who is a committed Pentecostal Christian who believes in miracles and God’s will.

One of those miracles enacted by God was letting him win the last unwinnable federal election. He is now prime minister because God put him there.

Roughly translated this means that he believes that climate change has been imposed on the world by God for unexplained reasons that should not be questioned.

For Morrison and many of his cohorts empirical science is something they view with scepticism.

Continue reading "More than a belief in miracles to get out of this climate mess" »


Kase’s admission of health system failure 10 years overdue

Pascoe-kase (post courier)
"I said to Pascoe Kase (pictured) 'You have to go to the clinics and talk to staff because the information you are giving me here is wrong'.   It turned into a tense exchange"

SCOTT WAIDE | My Land, My Country

LAE - For the last five years, I have been repeating the same story: ‘We have a crisis in the health system.’

The rest of the country can see it. The people who are victims of the medicine shortages all over the country keep speaking out about it. Health workers have cried while being interviewed because they simply can’t save lives.

And we’re not talking about the expensive cancer treatment and operations families have to pay for. 

It’s the basics that are lacking. Antibiotics, malaria drugs, family planning drugs and consumables. The clinics don’t have them. Or even if they have them, the supplies are not enough for their catchment areas.

Personally, I have emailed the health secretary, Pascoe Kase, about the cancer unit in Lae, the ill-treatment of the late Dr John Niblet and the medicine shortages. I have called and sent text messages.

Continue reading "Kase’s admission of health system failure 10 years overdue" »


Sir Salamo not the right person to head UBS loan inquiry

FRANCIS NII

KUNDIAWA - Prime Minister James Marape is to be commended for the appointment of a commission of inquiry to investigate the UBS loan affair, however the appointment of former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia to head the inquiry is dubious.

This is already a compromise of the outcome of the inquiry before it has even started and is not a good sign for the Marape government in its announced campaign of fighting corruption.

If Marape is serious about cleaning up PNG and ridding this country of corruption, the multi-billion dollar UBS loan is a classic case to start with.

This is an issue that has brought so much pain and misery to the country and its people.

It is essential for people who want the whole truth that no stone is left unturned in pursuing exactly what happened and who was responsible for it.

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