Legislation will need to spell out the terms of Indigenous Treaties to ensure consistency with Australia's constitution and laws relating to land and access rights. This is not impossible but is bound to be complex and contentious
ADELAIDE - The history of Australian governments in dealing with Australia’s Indigenous peoples is very dismal indeed.
The now departed and unlamented Liberal-National Party government continued this tradition whereby weasel words were deemed an adequate substitute for meaningful action.
Continue reading "Indigenous treaties worth all the problems" »
Almost no organisations and government agencies have an anti-corruption strategy - even those responsible for protecting integrity
NOOSA - With the help of the European Union, Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) is seeking to persuade Papua New Guinea’s government agencies to adopt and implement explicit anti-corruption and integrity strategies.
It says it is doing this in the knowledge that few government agencies, including those responsible for protecting integrity and fighting corruption, do not have an anti-corruption strategy.
Continue reading "New push to adopt anti-corruption strategies" »
The ABC’S international media development unit supports democratic governance by strengthening public interest journalism capable of holding Asia-Pacific institutions to account
NOOSA - Like so many people before him, Daniel Mee stumbled by accident upon PNG Attitude –and liked what he saw.
Not just a treasure trove of information but a network of many hundreds of people who maintain a close affiliation with Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "A fine project in which our readers can help " »
General Austin says the US is prepared to step up to be a leader and a guarantor of a free and open Indo-Pacific. "Big powers carry big responsibilities," he says
US defence secretary Lloyd Austin addresses the Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on Saturday (CNN)
BRAD LENDON & OREN LIEBERMANN
| CNN | Edited extracts
SINGAPORE – On Saturday, United States defence secretary Lloyd Austin called out China and vowed the US would stand by partners after a series of coercive, aggressive and dangerous actions that he said threatened stability in Asia.
"Indo-Pacific countries shouldn't face political intimidation, economic coercion or harassment by maritime militias," Austin said in a keynote speech to the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier defence conference.
Continue reading "China accuses US of garrisoning the Pacific" »
Most Pacific Island nations, including Papua New Guinea and Fiji, have not voiced opposition to the China-Solomons agreement and understand its context
National flags of Solomon Islands and China flutter in Tiananmen Square, Beijing (Reuters)
| East Asia Forum
SUVA - A draft security agreement between Solomon Islands and China was leaked on social media on 24 March 2022, sparking anxious reactions locally and internationally.
On 19 April, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin announced the agreement had been signed, and this was confirmed by Solomon Islands foreign affairs minister Jeremiah Manele.
Continue reading "Solomons: a better understanding is needed" »
Neo-liberalism's inherent flaws and contradictions have created mountainous debt and numerous socio-economic dysfunctions which have left the world’s economic and financial systems dangerously exposed
ADELAIDE - As an historian I am very wary about trying to predict the future based upon what has happened in the past or even what is happening in the present.
The record of those who predict the future with confidence is that they have been almost invariably wrong.
Continue reading "A rough guide to a challenging future" »
The people of Milne Bay have a point. They have the makings of prosperity and connectivity. But a road from the capital would not necessarily bring them anything but strife
ADELAIDE – Not long ago, Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss Connect PNG – a 20-year plan to increase strategic road connections across the country.
Australian high commissioner Jon Philp told the meeting that Australia continued to support strategic and high-quality infrastructure projects as a tool to promote economic prosperity.
Continue reading "Progress often needs more than a road" »
PNG will soon likely have a parliament of 118 seats with no women, one of only four national parliaments to present such a misogynistic face to the world
PNG politics - it's a man's, man's, man's, man's world
NOOSA - It would be easier to solve the Riddle of Tanglewood Manor than to extract from any reliable source precise and authoritative information about the election of Papua New Guinea’s 11th parliament.
But this we can be sure of. The election will extend for two weeks from 8 - 22 July. It will be for 118 seats. It will elect 22 governors and 96 MPs. That’s about it. Unless there’s a change.
Continue reading "Does PNG really dislike its women this much?" »
When Bougainville people sense a threat, or get the notion they might be dispossessed of land, they will fight and protect it with their lives if they have to
"Let us ensure our agreements hold because if we do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, our hopes will collapse like the benches around the mine pit"
SIMON PENTANU MP
| Bougainville News
KIETA - The benches that wound around the Panguna mine were a conspicuous feature of the humungous pit are still visible but either collapsing because of erosion by slow-seeping water or perhaps just tired of lying around with no purpose.
The pit is a massive ‘dingkung’ (hole) on Bougainville’s landscape; it is also a massive statement that people are capable of gutting the Earth’s resources and leaving the land wasted and torn when the riches have been extracted and shipped away.
Continue reading "Out of Pandora’s box: the Panguna paradox" »
As women make their mark across Papua New Guinea’s public service, the country is still shamed by its total lack of female national MPs
Emily Kelton has just retired from one of the most senior electoral positions in Papua New Guinea, but she sees not one woman holding a seat in the 111-member national parliament. Perhaps this will change with the election of a new 117-member parliament in July
MY LAND, MY COUNTRY
LAE – According to many candidates who stand for election in Papua New Guinea, politics and parliament is a “man’s place”.
So where do the half of the PNG population who are women fit in?
It is an uncomfortable question, an irritating rhetorical question - one to which we already know the answer. Too often it’s the wrong answer.
Continue reading "‘Why you doing a man’s job?’ I was asked" »
Washington is acting like Taiwan is already a fully-fledged ally and is willing to risk a regional war that can easily spin out of control
| South China Morning Post
HONG KONG - For Washington, containing China is more important than risking the lives of millions of people in the Asia-Pacific region.
Such a war will, after all, be fought on the other side of the world, so far as ordinary Americans – already sold on the evil of communist China and the benevolence of their own country – are concerned.
Continue reading "Is the USA prepping AsiaPacific for war?" »
Anthony Albanese has to prove himself capable of sorting out the considerable mess that Scott Morrison has left behind
If Albanese exercises democracy and wisdom in the cabinet room, we will have the best government we can have - and nobody can hope for anything more than that
NOOSA - Yesterday’s man under pressure has survived to become today’s hero – and I’m going to explain why.
For many Australians, the Labor Party’s win in Saturday’s national election seemed an unlikely victory.
Throughout his period as opposition leader, Anthony (Albo) Albanese had sought to present a target so small that nobody could take clear aim at it.
Continue reading "The timely end of a dangerous government" »
| Pearls & Irritations | Edited
Exploitation and abuse of Pacific Islands workers will be turbocharged as their numbers are being ramped up
CANBERRA - One of the symptoms of exploitation in the Pacific Access Labour Migration Scheme (PALMS) is the number of workers who abscond from their employer and apply for asylum.
Since late 2019, over 3,500 people from the Pacific Islands and Timor-Leste have applied for asylum.
Continue reading "The mess that is the Pacific workers scheme" »
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip
The silent crisis facing women and girls in rural Papua New Guinea
GOROKA - Last year in May, from Queens Pads PNG here in Goroka, I picked up a large box covered in black tape. The contents of this box were 300 reusable sanitary pads.
Reusable sanitary pads are a big step up from the disposable one-time use sanitary pads currently dominating what is termed the feminine hygiene market.
Continue reading "Addressing the silence of Period Poverty" »
ADELAIDE - While Phil Fitzpatrick's hypothesis in Dividing Not Blending: Multiculturalism in Oz, is broadly correct, I think it is wrong to say categorically that Australia is an unsuccessful multicultural society.
It would be more accurate to describe multiculturalism in Australia as emerging or evolving, presenting a society in which many of the institutional structures and arrangements have yet to adapt to emerging social and ethnographic realities.
Continue reading "Ethnic pressures versus white democracies" »
Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus emerged in Wuhan (AFP)
| South China Morning Post
It's easy for some politicians to deny racism in Australia when they are not members of targeted ethnic groups
SYDNEY – Another war is tearing through Australia’s civil society: a war of discrimination, racism and suspicion.
For three consecutive years, Australian politicians have commemorated Anzac Day, a time of remembrance of its war dead, with war-cries.
Continue reading "Anti-China racism as war talk stirs Oz" »
CAIRNS - In Abraham Lincoln’s time, messaging was limited to horse and rider and, as electronics became better understood, the telegraph.
News slowly developed as a commodity but, back then, it was largely confined to industrialised countries.
An event of significance happening in mid-19th century India might have appeared as a footnote in the London Times many weeks after the event.
Continue reading "A most desperate need for good leadership" »
Philippines new president Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr was an indulged youth whose excesses came at the expense of the ordinary people of the Philippines who suffered under his father's ruthless rule
SAMFORD VALLEY, QLD -The result of this week's presidential election in the Philippines are a reminder of the adage that ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.
With the son of the former dictator and looter of the nation’s resources, Ferdinand Marcos Sr, winning the presidency in a landslide this week, the wheel of history turns and brings to mind the worst excesses of the past.
Continue reading "Bongbong wins on a myth as history wanes" »
NOOSA - The eminent journalist Scott Waide has accused the disgraced EMTV network of failing to provide a proper news service to Papua New Guinea after it sacked its entire news team in February.
The journalists had taken a stand against politically-inspired censorship triggered by coverage of the fraudulent misdeeds of a well-connected government crony.
Continue reading "Fired journos fight back with online service" »
Dr Shailendra Singh - "Social media can be empowering and liberating" (Dialogue Fiji)
| Asia Pacific Review | Edited
SUVA - Social media is a mixed bag, with both democratic and undemocratic tendencies. But then few things in life are perfect.
And in that regard social media poses a major dilemma. Not just in Fiji, but many countries that are grappling with how best to tackle it.
This includes even developed countries like Australia.
Continue reading "If mainstream media fails, social media saves" »
Illustration by Simon Kneebone
“I always like to firm up vinaigrettes with some facts” – Garry Luhrs
The email came with a tantalising opener, “Hi Keith - I would like this scandal to be advertised far and wide.” In my business, it doesn’t come more pulse-racing than that. The missive came from former kiap and forever humourist Garry Luhrs, but it had a serious message. “This misappropriation of aged care funds is right across the board. Every provider appears to have front trotters and snouts in the trough. They seem to be creaming up to 70% of the funds as administrative expenses. This requires a Royal Commission. Any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.” So folks, if after reading Garry’s revelations you find you’ve had a similar experience, just drop him an email or a note in the Comments section and make sure Garry adds your case to the growing list - KJ
WUNDOWIE, WA - Greetings and salutations, survivors of the great PNG experiment who are still on the perch!
Lend me your eyes and ears. I am in search of volunteers who would like to be recruited to accompany me on my last patrol.
Like Don Quixote I have picked up my drooping old lance and am setting out on this last epic patrol to tilt once more at the windmills of an uncaring bureaucracy.
Continue reading "The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam" »
Stanley Gene blasts through the pack (Love Rugby League)
When Dr Clarrie Burke died in January 2019, there was an outpouring of grief in Papua New Guinea and Australia for a man who spent his life “in the service of educating and uplifting others”, as one PNG Attitude reader wrote. This article was published in September 2012 in Una Voce, the journal of the PNG Association of Australia (since renamed Kundu), titled ‘The times they began a’changing’ - KJ
BRISBANE - The time: 3 pm; date: August 14; year: 1960.
Anyone living in or visiting Port Moresby in the hours leading up to that time would have reckoned with the endless unbroken lines of cars and swollen streams of ‘native’* people on foot being directed by traffic police from both sides of Hubert Murray Highway into Lahara Avenue.
Continue reading "How PNG rugby league routed racism" »
When grass roots Papua New Guineans were asked about Australia and China, the results were not too flash for PNG's former colonial master
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.
Continue reading "PNG research: Oz lacks respect; China praised" »
The aged care home - privatisation is privation
TUMBY BAY - When you crack the Bible’s ‘threescore years and ten’ something strange happens – you begin to fade from view.
If my elderly next door neighbour is anything to go by, when you progress to your eighties you are all but invisible.
I can see him but no one else seems to.
Continue reading "Getting old in Oz: The meaningless years" »
ADELAIDE – In his thoughtful exposition, ‘What should we do with Bougainville’, Joe Ketan neatly outlines what is described as a 'wicked' policy problem, meaning one for which there is no good solution.
It is abundantly clear that, if Bougainville's demand for independence is not acceded to by the Papua New Guinean parliament, it is likely a unilateral declaration of independence will be declared by an angry and frustrated Autonomous Bougainville Government.
Continue reading "Bougainville: PNG’s very wicked policy problem" »
CAIRNS – “We have the local knowledge, we live it -” Dr Momia Teariki-Tautea, PNG Attitude, 29 March 2022
I thank the doctor for his truism, but I would ask whether Papua New Guineans have applied it?
I suggest the knowledge Dr Teariki-Tautea speaks of is ignored by nearly all administrative arms of the PNG government.
Continue reading "The aid gap: inapt activity v resigned inertia" »
The architect John Amory-designed residence in Warrawee sold to Lynda Babao for K16 million
A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
CANBERRA - In August 2020, the Australian media reported that former prime minister Peter O’Neill’s wife, Lynda Babao, had bought a $6 million (K16 million) house at Warrawee on Sydney’s upper north shore.
A few months before, another Sydney residence associated with the family had been quietly sold for $12.35 million (K33 million).
Continue reading "The deal that nearly broke a nation" »
Solomons prime minister Manasseh Sogavare and China's premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People, 9 October 2019 (Thomas Peter, Reuters)
NOOSA - The Australian government and its tame media are displaying shock and indignation this morning as details come to light about Solomon Islands agreeing to cooperate with China in policing and security, roles historically performed by Australia.
In early February, PNG Attitude reported on extensive negotiations between the two countries that covered a long shopping list including almost every sector and industry in the Solomons.
Continue reading "Canberra wrings hands as Honiara goes pinkish" »
1,300 people had sought refuge in this theatre in Mariupol, bombed earlier this week. Only 130 have been rescued
ADELAIDE – The ugly war in Ukraine is not proceeding according to Vladimir Putin’s wishes.
The result so far is a strategic failure that seems to be engendering a situation within Russia that is quite unstable.
Dictatorships rest largely upon an ability to enforce control by inspiring fear, and they employ large security apparatuses to do this.
Continue reading "If you can’t win the war, kill the innocents…." »
Sylvia Pascoe - “I’m not the type of person that sees an issue and just walks away from it” (Godfree Kaptigau, The Guardian)
| Guardian News & Media Ltd | Edited
| Supported by the Judith Nielson Institute for Journalism & Ideas
PORT MORESBY – In June, entrepreneur Sylvia Pascoe will attempt to take her leadership to the highest level by contesting the country’s national election.
Pascoe, who began the Port Moresby city markets, is passionate about creating opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs, especially other women.
Continue reading "Ipatas leads charge to get women into parliament" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Following the 2021 Port Moresby Northwest by-election, we conducted a small survey among 120 UPNG students and working class residents of the electorate.
One of the questions we asked was about the criteria they used to cast their votes in the by-election.
Continue reading "Research reveals insights into women candidates" »
CAROLINE MIMBS NYCE
| Senior Associate Editor, The Atlantic
WASHINGTON DC - One year has passed since a gunman took the lives of six Asian women and two others at spas in the Atlanta area.
The shooting spurred new activism and awareness around violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States.
Continue reading "Violence against Asian-Pacific women in the US" »
Russian marines train in Belarus before invading Ukraine (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service)
ADELAIDE - The Ukraine War has now been going on for 11 days and I have been following developments as closely as possible in both mainstream and social media.
While not a military person, I am an avid student of military history and feel able to offer these tentative observations about how events have unfolded so far and how they might reveal themselves in future.
Continue reading "The Ukraine War is a warning to us all" »
Under Vladimir Putin, the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture and entirely stripped of any benevolent parts it might have had
FROM AN AUSTRALIAN EXPATRIATE
MOSCOW - The BBC world service has reported new press restrictions in Russia, including 15 years jail for those who breach them.
The official Kremlin narrative is the only permitted one.
I agree with those who say that the Soviet state has returned, complete with its underlying kleptocratic economic culture, though entirely stripped of any of its benevolent parts.
Continue reading "Yes, the fog of war has descended" »
The empty EMTV newsroom last night (APN)
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited extracts
AUCKLAND - The national news team of Papua New Guinea’s major television channel, EMTV, walked out last night in protest over a decision earlier this month to suspend the head of news, Sincha Dimara, for alleged insubordination.
The news team condemned the “endless intimidation” which has led to the suspension or sacking of three news managers in the past five years.
The team vowed not to return until the “wrongs have been righted” by EMTV management.
Continue reading "EMTV in turmoil after news chief sidelined" »
BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
PORT MORESBY - Over the last month or so, a number of settlements in Port Moresby had their residents evicted in quick succession.
The saga started late last year with the eviction of ATS Portion 695 and Garden Hill Settlement followed this year with the eviction of Erima Settlement.
Continue reading "Still no solution to worsening settler crisis" »
Happy days. Delilah Gore (Sohe), Loujaya Kouza (Lae) and Julie Soso (Eastern Highlands) after their election in 2012. All failed to win re-election in 2017
MICHAEL KABUNI & DANNY AGON
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY – For five days in mid-January, Papua New Guinea’s Registry of Political Parties and Candidates, with the support of donors, ran a mentoring program for aspiring female candidates to contest this year’s national election.
Getting women into parliament is tough in Papua New Guinea.
In the 46 years since independence, there have been only seven women elected to parliament, and only two were re-elected after serving just one term.
Continue reading "Women MPs in PNG: Are men a secret weapon?" »
ADELAIDE – Land administration and corruption are major and related issues in Papua New Guinea.
They are also long-term and well-recognised issues, and a source of immense hardship especially in terms of their impact on the lack of affordable housing in urban PNG.
Squatting on vacant land is not just a practice of the underclass, it is something even middle class Papua New Guineans are compelled to do because of a public policy debacle neither PNG authorities nor their Australian advisers seem able or willing to address.
Continue reading "Rort the system & make a few million" »
CAIRNS – I was particularly struck by the recent observations of Dr Chris McCall and author Nick Brown (in Phil Fitzpatrick’s review of his latest book).
Their observations of discovering some of life's grim realities provided by salient insights into the shallow ignorance of what former US president Donald Trump contemptuously referred to as “shithole countries”.
Continue reading "Those valuable insights beyond ‘shithole country’" »
Scott Morrison feels vulnerable - a national election is due and a majority of Australia's population of 17 million is unhappy. Greater power accrues to the people when politicians become exposed
ADELAIDE - The many and obvious failings of various Western democracies have been on vivid display over the last two years.
Whilst it is fair to criticise our political elites for their incompetence, misjudgement and venality, we who vote for them might take pause to consider the extent to which we are also culpable.
Continue reading "Does power truly reside in the people?" »
When PNG became a nation in 1975, it had high hopes of building a better society and Michael Somare seemed to be the right leader to do it
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY – I want to talk about the kind of people who aspire to be national leaders and what might make them good leaders or not.
Leaders shape our local level governments, districts, provinces and ultimately our entire nation.
But the poor results on the ground are evidence that many of them, perhaps most of them, have not served our people well.
Continue reading "Election ‘22: Voter guide to how bad will oust good" »
'David Gulpilil Two Worlds' by Craig Ruddy, Winner 2004 Archibald Prize (NSW Art Gallery)
TUMBY BAY - We in the West tend to judge people of other cultures in terms of our own values. We do this because we are conceited and assume that our values are superior to theirs.
This conceit was a fundamental ingredient in Australia’s past colonial experience and still informs how we relate to nations like China and India.
Continue reading "An undefeated hero in the land of racists" »
| ACT NOW
PORT MORESBY - Research into prosecutions for corruption in Papua New Guinea reveals that, despite the enormous extent of the misappropriation of public funds, only a tiny number of officials have ever been charged and almost none has been convicted or imprisoned.
This failure is likely one reason PNG shows no signs of overcoming its unenviable reputation as one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and why allegations remain rife of corruption involving political leaders, the powerful and the wealthy.
Continue reading "Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever" »
A study of three PNG companies revealed that gender-based violence cost them about K7.3 million a year
EVONNE KENNEDY & SHABNAM HAMEED
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts
PORT MORESBY - Evidence has emerged that the private sector in Papua New Guinea can play a key role in responding to gender-based violence, and that doing so makes good business sense.
Research by the International Finance Corporation, in partnership with the Business Coalition for Women, has found that a gender-balanced workforce, and appropriate workplace responses to family and sexual violence, can provide benefits to businesses and their employees.
Continue reading "Dealing with GBV is good business sense" »
SYDNEY - I run a media, training and consultancy company called IndigenousX. It is 100% Indigenous owned and staffed.
We work on local, regional, national, and international projects; we run training workshops on anti-racism, digital strategies, and media training.
Continue reading "Identity & parlance: This is who we are" »
Fiame Naomi Mataafa (UN Women, Ellie van Baaren)
| ANU Reporter
CANBERRA - In April, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa caused the political equivalent of an earthquake for Samoa.
The long-serving and immensely popular politician had taken on a political powerhouse in the country’s national election – and won.
Continue reading "A crack in the Pacific's glass ceiling" »
LAE - How do we return Papua Niugini to a culture of Melanesian cooperation and how can the common people make those in power behave responsibly?
According to the evolutionary perspective, the birthplace of democracy was the tribe. Indeed, tribalism is sometimes referred to as ‘primitive democracy’.
Continue reading "Put politics last: Let’s stop reversing evolution" »
The unfinished K200 million Boroko casino. Arguments continue on a project that went bust in 2011 (TIPNG)
PORT MORESBY - National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) chairman Clemence Kanau says the regulator never had aspirations to run Port Moresby’s casino.
Kanau also dismissed claims by failed Boroko Casino developer, South Korean company CMSS PNG, that it had met all the requirements to establish the casino.
Continue reading "Regulator: ‘We didn’t want to run casino’" »
James Marape - "“For the first 10 or 15 years we want overseas commissioners and not Papua New Guineans"
NOOSA - There had been indications from Papua New Guinea’s prime minister last year of this stunning change of heart, but now the idea has expanded and shared with Australia.
In a recent meeting with Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, James Marape disclosed that he favoured a foreign official heading the much-awaited Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Continue reading "Marape’s big call: I want expats in key jobs" »
"Narratives evoking a sense of chaos in PNG, particularly by Australians, are not new"
KYLIE MCKENNA, SENALA MORONA & COONIEBHERT SAMGAY
| Divine Word University | DevPolicy Blog
MADANG - Covid-19 appears the latest instalment in outsider narratives of Papua New Guinea as a ‘failed’, ‘weak’ or ‘fragile’ state.
In April 2020, for example, with only eight cases of Covid-19 in the country, Australian journalists capitalised on the opportunity to put PNG on the failed-state precipice.
Continue reading "Colonial echoes in PNG 'failed state' smears" »