Environment, health & human rights Feed

PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture

Prisilla  FarmersPRISILLA MANOVE
| Prisilla’s Notes

GOROKA - In the remote and rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea, traditional Indigenous communities have practiced sustainable farming techniques for centuries.

Kuk in Western Highlands Province is one of the first places on earth where people started farming.

Continue reading "PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture" »


Worst public health disaster since World War II

BRENDAN CRABB & MIKE TOOLE

 "The nurses would spend hours sitting with their dying patients holding their hands
ensuring they weren’t alone in their final minutes of life" - Emma Reardon

MELBOURNE - The arrival just over a year ago of the new and different-looking Omicron variant of Covid-19 brought much hope that this would usher in the end of the pandemic.

That hope was based on two assumptions: that Omicron led to milder disease than earlier variants, and that its extraordinary capacity to spread fast would mean that the wider population would rapidly be exposed to this ‘milder’ virus and further boost the immunity that 95% of Australian adults already had through two doses of the vaccine.

Continue reading "Worst public health disaster since World War II" »


In praise of a great doctor - and seed planter

HOGANDE KIAFULI

LAE - The Jimi District in Jiwaka Province is one of the most remote areas in Papua New Guinea.

I have travelled to Middle and Upper Jimi on my way to Kompiam and experienced firsthand the struggles of access that the people of Jimi have when it comes to accessing primary medical services.

Jimi district represents the many rural and remote (some very isolated) places in PNG where accessing primary medical care is limited by poor road access.

Continue reading "In praise of a great doctor - and seed planter" »


Aid: the myth of partnership & collaboration

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

“Audacious women leaders from across the Oceanic Pacific have simply had enough [and] a re-imagined positioning of women in the Oceanic space. When this happens, women can begin to confidently resist being ‘confined physically and psychologically’ by demanding supportive, equitable and decolonised relationships” - ‘Ofakilevuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Enough is enough: audaciously decolonising the development and humanitarian nexus, Mitchell Oration 2022

CAIRNS – ‘Ofakilevaku (‘Ofa) Guttenbeil-Likiliki is Director of the Women & Children Crisis Centre in Tonga and a filmmaker and women’s rights activist.

In a recent speech she addressed a serious and not uncommon issue: the high-handed attitudes of those who believe they know better than people with lived experience.

Continue reading "Aid: the myth of partnership & collaboration" »


Population: 'Mama, papa na faivpela pikinini'

MICHAEL DOM

LAE – Census data in Papua New Guinea have always been considered less a reflection of ground truth and more a best approximation based on available reported figures from household interviews.

(Rule of Thumb: Always have the salt handy.)

Rather than arguing theoretical knowledge, I'll make an educated guestimate of what's likely in terms of rural population growth rates.

Continue reading "Population: 'Mama, papa na faivpela pikinini'" »


With foresight, PNG can be a force of nature

KANNI WIGNARAJA & DIRK WAGENER
| United Nations Development Programme

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s natural beauty is undeniable. Home to lush tropical rainforests, magnificent mountains and pristine islands and seas, PNG is one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries, accounting for about five percent of global biodiversity.

A little-known fact is that the country’s rainforest is the third largest in the world.

PNG also lies at the heart of the Coral Triangle – a region that is home to 76% of all known coral species.

Continue reading "With foresight, PNG can be a force of nature" »


Moresby’s police have ways to make you pay

BOMAI DOO *

PORT MORESBY – I remember that morning well. It was around eight and the streets of Four Mile were filled with people, some going to work, some coming from work, plenty looking for work.

Many of the multitude were street sellers trying to make a few bucks from the crowd, or from each other.

Our bus stopped in front of Mondo clothing with the crew shrieking ‘hurry up, hurry up, this is police stop, you want us to get caught?’

Continue reading "Moresby’s police have ways to make you pay" »


17m population shock was hidden from public

The 17 million population estimate rang alarm bells in Canberra and was considered so sensitive the PNG government initially refused permission for it to be published

Koki in Port Moresby  Papua New Guinea
Koki, a suburb of Port Moresby best known for its market and other commercial activities

BEN PACKHAM & TICKY FULLERTON
| The Australian

CANBERRA - A new United Nations study has found Papua New Guinea could have a population of 17 million – almost double the official estimate.

The new population forecast would, if accurate, would slash measures of PNG’s living standards and ramp up concerns over its fragility as a nation state.

Continue reading "17m population shock was hidden from public" »


The desperate & deadly streets of Moresby

“I'm afraid to live in this country. Police officers and army men think they're above the law and that they can get away with so many things. Corruption runs rampant in these streets” - Kaliop Ingirin Tomai

Least livable
Port Moresby is considered to be one of the world's least livable cities

BOMAI DOO *

PORT MORESBY – I am still on probation in my job and the pay is really not enough to live on. I spend half of it on bus fares to get to and from work.

But who am I to complain or quit my job when so many accounting graduates from the universities are roaming the streets doing nothing.

Continue reading "The desperate & deadly streets of Moresby" »


Rivers threatening the villages of Panguna

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - Sometime in 2017 or 2018 I wrote an article for the PNG Post-Courier office at Arawa warning people that the Panguna mine pit could turn into a lake.

Twenty years of earth being chipped away by small scale alluvial gold operations had brought the Kabarong river perilously close to breaching the pit wall.

Now, in 2022, it is happening.

Continue reading "Rivers threatening the villages of Panguna" »


Opposition grows to deep sea mining threat

“Deep sea mining is not wanted! The PNG government should be following in the footsteps of other Pacific states like Fiji, Samoa, Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia calling for a pause, moratorium or complete ban”

Kanamon Goup top
Alliance of Solwara members are leading the push against deep sea mining (Jonathan Mesulam)

REILLY KANAMON

PORT MORESBY - Community leaders from atolls and coastal communities in the Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Sea region are calling for a ban on seabed mining and the cancellation of all seabed mining licenses in their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

There are hundreds of communities in New Ireland, East New Britain, Manus, Madang, Bougainville, and Milne Bay provinces whose EEZ holds the fishery and tuna stock for Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Opposition grows to deep sea mining threat" »


Life itself is threatened by the profit motive

We have created a civilisation capable of destroying the environment on a global scale and that is exactly what is happening.  The warning bells from history are ringing loudly but our leaders and too many of the rest of us are not listening

Wafi-golpu-top

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE – The proposal by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold to dump plans to dump hundreds of millions of tonnes of mining waste into Huon Gulf shows why the people of Planet Earth are collectively doomed to disaster.

There is no chance this side of hell that international capitalism will stop despoiling the planet as long as there is money to be made.

Continue reading "Life itself is threatened by the profit motive" »


Morobeans resist mining waste ocean dump

“The legacy we want to leave our children is simple. We want them to be able to live in an environment that is clean, healthy and safe. We do not want an ocean full of toxic waste” - Reverend Yasam Aiwara

Huon

NEWS DESK
| Say No to Wafi-Golpu

LAE - A coalition of Papua New Guinean and Australian civil society organisations has launched an international campaign to stop plans to dump hundreds of millions of tonnes of mining waste into Huon Gulf.

The Say No to Wafi-Golpu DSTP group is fighting to protect the ocean, marine ecosystems and coastal communities of Huon Gulf from becoming a dumping ground for the Wafi-Golpu copper and gold mine, one of the largest in the world, operated by Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold.

Continue reading "Morobeans resist mining waste ocean dump" »


UN project addresses unsustainable farming

New Britain island is under threat from rapid forest loss due to agricultural conversion with over 450,000 hectares under permits for forest clearance

West New Britain dancers welcome delegates to the official launch (Clive Hawigen  UNDP Papua New Guinea)
West New Britain dancers welcome delegates to the official launch of the sustainable development project (Clive Hawigen,  UNDP )

NEWS DESK
| United Nations Development Program

PORT MORESBY - A project has been launched in West New Britain to promote sustainable land-use.

New Britain island’s ecosystems range from dense lowland plains to a central mountainous spine with peaks of over 2,000 meters.

Continue reading "UN project addresses unsustainable farming" »


The brutal life of West Papuan refugees in PNG

"Even in the hell of life, God reminds us of the beautiful gift of children. I reached out my hand as tears rolled down my eyes. Their gentle hands were rich in kindness, gratitude and smiles. I could not speak"

Kanamon
West Papuan refugees at Hohola with visitors from Caritas and the Catholic Bishops Conference who have supported them in Port Moresby and PNG’s border provinces (Reilly Kanamon)

REILLY KANAMON

PORT MORESBY – The plea from the West Papuan refugees in Port Moresby was resounding.

“All we long for now is a piece of land we can own. A piece of land that is all we need to rebuild ourselves, that is home to us.”

Continue reading "The brutal life of West Papuan refugees in PNG" »


Fighting off bulldozers in sacred kwila forests

The kwila trees are considered to be ancestors and are never cut down. The Tivia clan only use the wood when the trees fall naturally. "Our belief is that when the masalai touch that sap, humans come out from that. It is the creation of our clan”

Chandler

JO CHANDLER
| The Guardian | @jo_m_chandler

MADANG - In mid-May, a bulldozer began clearing a logging road into an area of largely untouched rainforest near the village of Suburam, on Papua New Guinea’s north coast, between the mountains of the Adelbert Range and the Bismarck Sea.

Towering kwila trees were among those locals say were felled by loggers. This is a coveted, high-value species that yields the rich red timber familiar in Australia as merbau.

Continue reading "Fighting off bulldozers in sacred kwila forests" »


At long last, can malaria be eradicated?

Two new vaccines may finally turn back the ancient plague of malaria. But the arrival of the vaccines also complicates the path to ending the disease

Capture
It’s beautiful but Kenya’s Wigwa River is a breeding site for mosquitoes (Photograph by Kang-Chun Cheng)

APOORVA MANDAVILLI
| New York Times

Link here to read the complete story

NEW YORK, USA - All through childhood, Miriam Abdullah was shuttled in and out of hospitals, her thin body wracked with fever and ravaged by malaria.

She was so sick so often that her constant treatments drained her parents, who also cared for her many siblings, both financially and emotionally.

Continue reading "At long last, can malaria be eradicated?" »


Oz media treatment of women is no template

 Ten years after Julia Gillard's landmark speech on misogyny, Dr Victoria Fielding examines why not much has changed and why Australia offers no template for addressing sexism in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere

Women Gillard speech
In the Australian parliament in 2012, responding to opposition leader Abbott accusing her of 'sexism', prime minister  Julia Gillard delivered a powerful speech against misogyny that gained global attention

VICTORIA FIELDING

ADELAIDE - This week, misogynist Steve Price decided to spew out his sexist opinion of the Australian women’s football league (AFLW), calling it “substandard” and that “even high school boys are better to watch”.

Price and the Herald Sun newspaper, which published his filth, don’t care about the damage this ‘opinion’ does to the AFL women players, the women and men who admire them and the young girls aspiring to be equal to their male peers.

Continue reading "Oz media treatment of women is no template" »


Quake signals danger for Wafi-Golpu project

As deadly earthquakes pose catastrophic risks to communities, all levels of government have been asked to pause the Wafi-Golpu deep sea tailings pipeline proposal until consent has been given by affected communities

A large crack in a highway near Kainantu following the 7.6 magnitude Morobe earthquake that killed at least seven people
A large crack in a highway near Kainantu following the 7.6 magnitude Morobe earthquake that killed at least seven people

NOOSA - Following the deadly Morobe earthquake 10 days ago, a coalition of Papua New Guinean and Australian civil society organisations have called for a pause to the Wafi-Golpu gold mine project.

The quake had a magnitude of 7.6 and the organisations want the geology to be fully understood and for Morobe communities to be consulted, especially on the risks of deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) to their livelihoods and health.

Continue reading "Quake signals danger for Wafi-Golpu project" »


UN offers safety to survivors of violence

The House of Hope provides emotional, physical and material assistance to restore the dignity of survivors of violence and to promote their recovery and empowerment

House rules and artwork done by survivors of sorcery accusation related violence at the House of Hope. It is part of the rehabilitation process and therapy for survivors (Gerard Ng  UNDP Papua New Guinea)
House rules and artwork done by survivors of sorcery accusation related violence at the House of Hope. It is part of the rehabilitation process and therapy for survivors (Gerard Ng,  UNDP Papua New Guinea)

NEWS DESK
| United Nations Development Program PNG

PORT MORESBY - Since the beginning of this year, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through its partner Catholic Diocese of Mendi, has reached over 1,000 people through 17 awareness programs on sorcery accusation related violence (SARV).

Responding to the grave human rights violations resulting from SARV in Southern Highlands Province, the Catholic Diocese of Mendi actively advocates against the practice and provides post-violence victim recovery support through a safe house – the House of Hope.

Continue reading "UN offers safety to survivors of violence" »


Out of the terror & death, it’s time for peace

Every day there was gunfire in Enga Province. Constant reports of death and destruction poured in from almost every district. Property valued at millions of kina went up in smoke - shops, homes, schools, health facilities

Kumbon top

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - I had terrible dreams, some so scary they made me sweat, in the last couple of weeks I was up there in Wabag.

Maybe my poor brain recorded so much destruction, crime, violence, atrocities and human rights violations that the events kept resurfacing in my sleep.

Continue reading "Out of the terror & death, it’s time for peace" »


Old Melanesia offers lessons to a grim future

When they say ‘gold is a resource’, then anything in and around it is useless. The people living on the land above the gold, anything else in the ground and down the rivers are seen as a nuisance

Agric

EMMANUEL PENI
| Presentation at the Lowy Institute

SYDNEY - Papua New Guineans are proud and resilient people. We come from a bloodline of some of the most ingenious and innovative people.

Our ancestors sailed the oceans before others did. Our ancestors invented agriculture! Let that sink in.

Continue reading "Old Melanesia offers lessons to a grim future" »


There’s no escaping a hothouse earth

We're on a path to 3 degrees by the end of the century, or sooner. At 3 degrees much of planetary life would end. McGuire argues that changes to the biosphere are now at the point of no return

Aircraft

RICHARD HIL
| Pearls & Irritations

NORTHERN NSW - A couple of months ago I set off with my partner to the northern hemisphere for a prolonged stint in Canada.

I’ll admit I was excited and relieved to be getting away from the rain-soaked Northern Rivers.

The region had been robbed of sunlight for months on end and the trauma of the floods earlier in the year was deeply ingrained, even though I was among the lucky few whose house was spared.

Continue reading "There’s no escaping a hothouse earth" »


Red Cross tries never to leave a victim behind

As tribal conflicts unfold across the Highlands, safe access to health care is under threat. In conflict-affected parts of the country, clinics are in ruins and staff flee for their lives. These ongoing attacks are leaving many thousands without adequate access to health care

A Katiloma 3
Rowena Kasunu, a missionary from the Kambia tribe in Southern Highlands Province, stands outside Katiloma village’s health-care clinic, which was attacked during a tribal fight and remains closed. The health post used to service four tribes in the area

ANDREW KOBYLINSKI
| International Committee of the Red Cross

CANBERRA - 'Fighting in Papua New Guinea? Really?' This is the usual response I get when I tell people about the work the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) undertakes in PNG alongside the PNG Red Cross.

While only four kilometres in the Torres Strait separate Australia and PNG, an understanding of the struggles faced by our next-door neighbour is distant for most Australians.

Continue reading "Red Cross tries never to leave a victim behind" »


Rising from the ashes: a TV series reviewed

A communications response to the challenges of life in rural Papua New Guinea uses storytelling to change attitudes and behaviour.
“My daughters have no mother. My son has no mother. I have no wife”

Village - top
A scene from It Takes A Village

GRACE HEAOA

PORT MORESBY - ‘It takes a village’ is a five-part Papua New Guinean television drama drawing attention to the plight of pregnant women and the risks of childbirth.

Rex is an emerging rugby league star in his local village and his wife, Miriam, is expecting their third child.

Continue reading "Rising from the ashes: a TV series reviewed" »


The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger

David Berger has been forced to submit to a Communist style re-education program and humiliation where he has to explain how he has behaved discourteously, unprofessionally and offended the community. If he does not comply, this skilled, ethical and courageous doctor will face deregistration because he told the truth

Berger
Dr David Berger - Covid truth teller who the Australian authorities are trying to silence as they seek to cover up accountability for over 10,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of seriously ill victims

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - There has been an outpouring of support for Australian doctor David Berger, whose social media activity has been censored and registration as a doctor threatened because he tells the truth about the incompetence of the Australian government’s handling of Covid.

Dr Berger has been an acute reporter, knowledgeable analyst and severe critic of how Australian governments have failed the public in their handling of Covid.

Continue reading "The silencing of Covid truth teller, Dr Berger" »


Capped partner visas: Another Dutton rort

It's likely the government, particularly under Peter Dutton, acted illegally in limiting the number of partner visa places to an extraordinary degree

Adelaide_airport_arrived_stamp

ABUL RIVZI
| Pearls & Irritations

CANBERRA - In 2018, I wrote about one of opposition leader Peter Dutton’s lesser known scandals – his action to egregiously limit the number of partner visas.

In 1989 and in 1996-97, parliament voted to ensure partner visa applications (more specifically spouse visa applications) were managed on a demand driven basis.

Continue reading "Capped partner visas: Another Dutton rort" »


The unvirtuous circle of SA's Blackfella affairs

The ‘designed to fail’ policies that glisten with promises come to nought in delivery because the Whitefella wants to be able to control, constrain and interfere with the Blackfella’s interests

Police engaging Aboriginal people,1838
New South Wales Mounted Police attack Aboriginal people, Waterloo Creek, 1838

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – I’m currently writing a history of the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Branch, based in Adelaide, where I was employed between 1974 and 1994.

It’s tentatively called ‘Full Circle’ – the title describing a 20-year trajectory in which the Branch went from virtually nothing to journey through a period of high productivity and public recognition before finally looping back to irrelevance and obscurity, buried in a high rise city building.

Continue reading "The unvirtuous circle of SA's Blackfella affairs" »


Australia's Covid situation is out of control

A Twitter thread examining the alarming, tragic and unfinished story of Covid in Australia: where the people are now; how we got here; and what we must do to extract ourselves from this shitshow

Covid pic masked people
Image by The Age

COLIN KINNER
(@ColinKinner)

BRISBANE - First, where are we right now? Some facts.

Around 50% of all Australians have had Covid, there have been 9,700 deaths from Covid and about half a million people are suffering from Long Covid.

To put that in perspective, the current death rate is around 50 people per day, and increasing.

Continue reading "Australia's Covid situation is out of control" »


Where are you taking my trees?

The chainsaws had finished their day’s work. Through the silence I heard birds chirping; and the faint sad cry of a bird of paradise

Auna melo clearing forest

DUNCAN GABI
| Auna Melo Independent Blog

WEWAK - I looked down at my feet stuck in the red clay, then raised my head. Before me a machine was constructing a new road through the thick jungle.

I could see the shape of the mechanical caterpillar munching away the forest.

I took a step and slipped, quickly rebalanced and steadied on my feet.

Continue reading "Where are you taking my trees?" »


The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers

Drivers compete with each other for a few metres of advantage and swap insults with hand signals to assert their rights of domination

Cars top
Traffic in Port Moresby

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Dervla Murphy, the Irish travel writer who died aged 90 last month, had two particular dislikes. The first was capitalism and the second was motorcars.

In the early 1960s she rode an old fashioned gearless pushbike from Waterford in Ireland to India. She subsequently undertook many more similar adventures on her trusty wiliwil.

Continue reading "The curse of motorcars & their insane drivers" »


Research: 61% of PNG workers reject vaccine

'Government should tell us the facts about the effects and benefits rather than forcing people to get vaccine'

A

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Public health experts agree that widespread vaccination coverage together with mask-wearing, distancing and some other protocols are the best way to end pandemics.

While vaccination is not the only protection, it is a vital component of keeping the disease under control.

Continue reading "Research: 61% of PNG workers reject vaccine" »


Australia’s aid program needs to be focused

While rebuilding a strong and effective aid program will take time, there are already in existence opportunities to increase funding for highly effective multilateral programs

The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid (Australian Council for International Development)
The 30-year demolition of Australia's foreign aid budget, 1972-2022 (Australian Council for International Development)

MATT MORRIS
| Twitter | Edited

CANBERRA - Poverty reduction and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals offer a good guiding framework for development aid.

Within this, however, Australia needs to carefully prioritise its aid spending both within countries and in its global programs.

Continue reading "Australia’s aid program needs to be focused" »


The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources

Panguna mine, derelict for 32 years following the outbreak of a 10-year civil war, becomes the main target of an ugly race for Bougainville's wealth

Boug Bougainville rebels guard the Panguna mine site  1996 (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)
Bougainville rebels watch over the Panguna mine site (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)

JUBILEE AUSTRALIA

Scramble for resources: The international race for Bougainville’s mineral wealth, Jubilee Australia Research Centre, Sydney NSW, June 2022, 44 pages. Free download here

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd:Scramble for Resources shines a much-needed light on the practices of the new waves of mining and exploration companies in Bougainville. Given the sheer number of Australian companies involved in this stampede for Bougainville’s resources, and the consequences for people living on the island, its findings should cause Australians to sit up and take notice”

Continue reading "The unseemly scramble for B'ville resources" »


People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf

It is time human rights and the environment were respected by Australian companies. PNG should not be a dumping ground

Manu Peni & Boe Spearim
Emmanuel (Manu) Peni with Boe Spearim of Let's Talk, a program of Australia's National Indigenous Radio Service

EMMANUEL PENI & LUKE FLETCHER

WEWAK - In Papua New Guinea, the election campaign is heating up ahead of national general elections in July.

Part of the PNG government’s election messaging is focused on its commitment to the Wafi Golpu joint venture project – an immense proposed copper and gold mine in Morobe Province.

As with the Frieda River mine in the Sepik, there are serious concerns about how to manage the huge volume of toxic mine waste the project will produce.

Continue reading "People power: The fight to save the Huon Gulf" »


Addressing the silence of Period Poverty

Manove - Marawaka airstrip
Unloading a plane at the remote Marawaka airstrip

PRISILLA MANOVE

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" »


Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG

Charteris - boys in canoeSTEPHEN CHARTERIS

Rethinking how primary healthcare services are funded & delivered in rural PNG

CAIRNS – It was nearing dusk when we happened upon the two boys.

Relieved though I was to have found human habitation, I couldn't help observing that a shirtless boy at the front of the canoe likely had tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Goods out, money in: developing rural PNG" »


Pacific TB rates continue to climb

regional TB
A regional tuberculosis treatment centre in PNG (World Vision)

STEVEN TRASK
| SBS News

PNG has already seen the emergence and spread of highly-drug resistant TB strains

SYDNEY - While all eyes are on the Covid-19 crisis, one of the world's deadliest diseases continues to haunt the Pacific.

Tuberculosis, or TB, is a highly-contagious airborne bacterial infection that attacks the lungs.

Continue reading "Pacific TB rates continue to climb" »


Anti-China racism as war talk stirs Oz

A Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus emerged (AFP)
Suspicion towards Chinese people has grown since the virus emerged in Wuhan (AFP)

SU-LIN TAN
| 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" »


Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse

Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain
Lydia Gah is a Nakani woman from West New Britain

BRENDAN MOUNTER
| ABC Far North

Following her divorce, Lydia pursued her education and went on to become a counsellor and social worker

TOWNSVILLE – Born prematurely in a remote village in New Britain, Lydia Gah learnt to survive from her very first breath.

But it’s her story as the survivor of a 12-year abusive marriage that she’s determined to share with the world.

Continue reading "Lydia's story: Surviving the pain of abuse" »


Many promises, but failure to curb log exports

A Log carrierNEWS DESK
| Act Now

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s tropical rainforests have enormous importance locally and internationally, but are under threat from a variety of sources including commercial logging.

The government has committed to drastically reduce the rate of commercial logging.

It has also committed to increase ‘downstream processing’ to increase financial returns by ending the export of unprocessed round logs by 2025.

Continue reading "Many promises, but failure to curb log exports" »


Sea border closed between Qld & PNG

Border
Coastline near Papua New Guinea - Indonesia border (Johnny Blades, RNZ)

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand

AUCKLAND - Border crossing arrangements between Papua New Guinea and Queensland through the Torres Strait have been suspended.

PNG's police commissioner and National Pandemic Response controller, David Manning, has declared the new measure under the National Pandemic Act.

Continue reading "Sea border closed between Qld & PNG" »


Fired journos fight back with online service

A topKEITH JACKSON

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" »


Pacific water supply is in big trouble

Children drinking (Joseph Hing)
Image by Joseph Hing

ELEISHA FOON
| Radio New Zealand | Extract

More than two million people in Papua New Guinea have no access to clean drinking water

AUCKLAND - There's concern that addressing water and sanitation challenges in the Pacific has become an afterthought for regional politicians and international leaders.

The Pacific Community (SPC), which provides scientific and technical expertise to the island nations on issues like water and climate change, is reporting a decline in water hygiene initiatives in the region.

Continue reading "Pacific water supply is in big trouble" »


The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam

A my-aged-care Simon Kneebone
Illustration by Simon Kneebone

GARRY LUHRS

“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" »


My jobs scheme for Moresby has liftoff

Kanene mob
The Kanene mob - Joseph (centre back) is a whizz at developing useful apps and has put one into action to help create jobs for Port Moresby youth

JOSEPH KANENE

“We've 87 youths registered and expect 250 to join by the end of this week” – Joseph hopes his jobs scheme will promote an app to track illegal logging

PORT MORESBY - One beautiful rainy day, somewhere in the National Capital District of the largest island in the Pacific, I was having a cigarette under the cover of my car garage.

I was severely stressed out because a geographic information system I had designed and built to track illegal logging operations in Papua New Guinea was gaining no support.

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Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

A Immigration at Jackson Airport -
Immigration at Jackson Airport - "long lines of miners queueing ready to extract resources from the ground"

STEPHEN CHARTERIS

'Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose' (the more things change, the more they stay the same) - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1808–1890, French novelist and editor

CAIRNS - Clearly very little has changed since Martyn Namorong’s first visit to Australia in 2015.

When Martyn penned this, Papua New Guinea’s population was around seven million. In the 10 years since, it has increased by two million - a phenomenal rate of growth.

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Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship

A
Cartoon by Hudson

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - This week, Australian citizens observe what seem to be the final paroxysms of the Morrison government as its lamentable record in office and surprisingly poor campaigning leave it in a shambles.

Nothing symbolises this more than the fallout from a series of appalling blunders concerning Solomon Islands, which from my perspective looks suspiciously like a friendly flag operation gone wrong.

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