Port of Lae - set to become a regional container hub as Australia fends off Chinese influence.
NOOSA - The Australian government has announced it will provide K1.5 billion in loans and grants to Papua New Guinea to upgrade its ports facilities.
Australia says the funds will strengthen trade ties between the two countries and encourage PNG to decline investment from other nations including China.
Continue reading "Australia fends off China with K1.5b for ports" »
Daru's New Century Hotel and street market - doubtless the mud-puddlers have fond memories of sinking the odd stubby here (Mark O'Shea)
TUMBY BAY - There’s a loose and exotic fraternity of expatriate mud-puddlers who served in the Western Province who exchange occasional emails when something of interest about their old stamping ground surfaces in the media.
A recent report in the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier about a development plan for Daru, the provincial capital, is currently stirring their interest.
Continue reading "Remote Daru could be a regional flashpoint" »
Ok Tedi is the only government-owned mine in PNG, which has toughened its dealings with resources companies in recent years
PORT MORESBY - As we begin 2022, I want to take a look at the defining issues that will shape Papua New Guinea’s social, political and economic outlook.
It’s not possible to cover everything in one article, but consider this an introduction to issues I’ll expand on throughout the year.
In this piece, I look at PNG’s political and economic outlook, and in a companion article I’ll consider security and governance issues.
Continue reading "PNG '22: Politics same; economy uncertain" »
Martyn Namorong - With elections due in June, police commanders are concerned at the lack of preparation
| Linked In
PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea goes to a national election in June with many people pinning their hopes on the outcome of the polls.
The election is pivotal, not just in terms of bread and butter socio-economic issues but also in dealing with a final political settlement for Bougainville, which in a 2019 referendum opted overwhelmingly for independence from PNG.
Continue reading "The season for beer, lamb flaps & clan loyalty" »
| Edited extracts
Link here to the complete report by the National Research Institute
PORT MORESBY - In Papua New Guinea, customary land is administered by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning (DLPP).
This faces many challenges including the costly, cumbersome process of land registration, protracted disputes over ownership and boundaries and questions about the capacity of DLPP to administer customary land.
Continue reading "We need a new entity to administer customary land" »
Westpac, ANZ, Bank South Pacific and Kina Bank have questions to answer about their ties with illegal logging practices in PNG
NOOSA – Banks operating in Papua New Guinea - including Westpac and ANZ - have provided the country’s five largest exporters of logs with at least K300 million in credit over the last 20 years.
But gaps in company reporting and murky funding processes mean the true amount could be three times as high, reaching close to a billion kina.
Continue reading "Four banks backed destructive logging" »
Telstra CEO Andy Penn - soon to be the proud owner of Digicel Pacific (Photo - David Crosling, AAP)
| Michael West Media | Extracts
GOLD COAST - Why was Telstra slotted $1.6 billion (K4 billion) by Australia’s Morrison government to buy Digicel, and how is it Telstra shares slumped by one-third during the bull market?
It’s corporate welfare on steroids. Another bizarre intervention in what Scott Morrison and treasurer Josh Frydenberg like to call free markets.
Continue reading "$1.6b handout to Telstra to head off Chinese" »
TUMBY BAY - One of the most perverse inventions of capitalism is planned obsolescence.
This is the idea that an article is manufactured to fall apart and cease to function properly after a certain amount of time.
Annoying for you and good for the manufacturer, who has ensured that users have to purchase a new article to continue to enjoy its convenience.
Continue reading "Only the grassroots can save the planet, but...." »
NOOSA - On Monday 25 October, the giant Australian telecommunications corporation, Telstra, announced it was buying Digicel Pacific, the dominant mobile network operator in the region.
Digicel owns the biggest telcos in Papua New Guinea, Nauru, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga and the second biggest in Fiji.
Continue reading "Telstra’s PNG mobile monopoly is no cakewalk" »
Neoliberalism as it is perceived by China - a wild American ram (or buffalo if you’re an editor) about to plunge a terrorised planet into the abyss
ADELAIDE - Bernard Corden has written a fine polemic in ‘There’s a man going ’round taking names’.
Idealism, unfiltered through the lens of reflective thought, is a dangerous thing.
Very few proponents of ‘pure’ neoliberalism – the ideology that markets can run the planet better than governments - appear to devote little if any time to reflection.
Continue reading "Privilege & power are on the march" »
TUMBY BAY - As Paul Oates has frequently pointed out in his comments on PNG Attitude, before you can solve a problem you have to clearly identify its root causes.
Once you’ve done that, you can devise strategies to eliminate or overcome those causes and solve the problem.
Continue reading "Neoliberalism & greed are here to stay" »
Washouts on the Highlands Highway are common. Bridge at Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands, 2016
AUCKLAND – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $325 million (K1.1 billion) to the Papua New Guinea government to upgrade 430 kilometres of the Highlands Highway.
The massive project, which will be a boon to three million people living in the Highlands, was signed by the ADB's Pacific director general, Leah Gutierrez, and PNG treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey
Continue reading "Billion kina bridge-build will boost Highlands" »
| K92 Mining
KAINANTU - K92 Mining has donated K100,000 to Femili PNG to support its work in eradicating family and sexual violence in Papua New Guinea.
‘’We have been in operation for four years and, for us as a new company, we want to be able to support social issues and agendas,” said K92 vice-president Philip Samar.
Continue reading "K92 & Femili PNG join against violence" »
Of the thousands of images of the Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville, this must be the most dramatic. An armed guerrilla fighter looks over the deserted mine during the 1988-1998 civil war
‘If you want to change culture you will have to start by changing the organisation’ - Mary Douglas
BRISBANE – In addition to the corporate vandalism and carnage reprised in my Digging & Dumping piece the other day, several other contentious mining ventures await approval from the Papua New Guinea government.
I had included the Wafi-Golpu joint venture southwest of Lae on this list until it received approval a couple of days ago.
Continue reading "Corporate vandalism need not be so" »
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" »
Porgera gold and copper mine in Enga Province
'Every dogma has its day' - Anthony Burgess
BRISBANE - Over the past five decades many notorious corporate brigands in the mining and mineral resources sector have plundered vast quantities of ore and precious metals from the bountiful arc of the Pacific rim that encompasses Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Buccaneering recidivists include Rio Tinto at Panguna, BHP at Ok Tedi, Placer Dome on Misima Island, Barrick Gold at Porgera, Newcrest at Lihir, Morobe Mining JV at Hidden Valley, St Barbara at Simberi and Gold Ridge and Ramu NiCo at Kurumbukari and Basamuk Bay near Madang.
Continue reading "Digging & dumping: A PNG mining chronicle" »
ADELAIDE – Over recent times I have been writing, almost to the point of tendonitis, that China’s decades-long ‘economic miracle’ is a present day replay of how all advanced economies have developed.
First, there is a dramatic acceleration as resources are mobilised in a large scale modernisation and industrialisation phase.
Continue reading "China: White water rafting through history" »
| Act Now
PORT MORESBY – If the government's ban on new logging permits is to be effective, it must be total, and extended to cover all types of logging consent.
Last week prime minister James Marape directed the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) to stop issuing new permits and permit extensions so the government can meet its 2025 deadline to end the export of unprocessed raw logs.
Continue reading "Govt must crack down on rogue agency" »
Digicel's Denis O'Brien - Australia's China troubles is the tycoon's get rid of debt card
| The Irish Times | Extract
DUBLIN - The downward spiral in relations between China and Australia in the past year has played into the hands of businessman Denis O’Brien as he looks to further reduce the debt burden of his Digicel telecoms group.
Early last year O’Brien effectively forced bondholders to write off $1.6 billion (K5.6 billion) of what they were owed.
Continue reading "Telstra visit signals Digicel deal is closer" »
James Marape - “We will not come below 52% in negotiating new resource projects"
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea will never allow the PNG share of resource projects to slip below 52%, prime minister James Marape has said as the nation stands on the threshold of a new resources boom.
Mr Marape said his government was pushing for more than a 50% stake in P’nyang, Pasca, Pandora and other future LNG projects as well as the Wafi-Golpu and Porgera mining projects.
Continue reading "We'll ensure a 52% share for PNG: Marape" »
‘Scientific theory is a contrived foothold in the chaos of living phenomena’ - Wilhelm Reich
‘The most basic claims of religion are scientific. Religion is a scientific theory’ - Richard Dawkins
‘The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage’ - Mark Russell
Continue reading "Of matters malevolent - & a fiery stunt" »
ADELAIDE - Commenting on Keith Jackson’s ‘The vandals who trashed our nation’ and other remarks on the Covid crisis, Andrew Brown wrote that “people in small business are going broke by the dozen, the number of empty shops in my local area is frightening”.
And he added, “That is real hardship for people losing everything they have and not having any hope.”
Continue reading "It’s not the economy, it’s the Covid" »
When plans turn to MASH (Illustration - John Shakespeare, Sydney Morning Herald)
ADELAIDE – Keith Jackson (‘The vandals who trashed our nation’) expressed in clear terms the ugly truth of what has happened in the Australian government’s response to Covid-19.
This pandemic will not be over anytime soon. The much vaunted 70% vaccination level spruiked by Morrison, Berejiklian and others will not come close to ending it.
Continue reading "The idea of economy & a need for power" »
James Marape to brief conference on PNG government's plans for improving investment climate
| Business Advantage PNG
PORT MORESBY —Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape MP will open the 2021 Business Advantage Investment Conference in Port Moresby next Tuesday.
Mr Marape will outline his government’s strategy for improving the environment for business and investment in PNG to an audience of international and local investors, financiers and senior business executives.
Continue reading "Marape to open business conference" »
The 'Afore Highway' from Oro Bay, described as "a reasonable gravel track with some challenging sections" is to be upgraded as part of the Mangalas project
NOOSA –Governor Gary Juffa has won the support of prime minister James Marape in establishing the innovative Managalas forest carbon pilot project in the Afore region, located between the Owen Stanley and Hydrographers ranges in Oro Province.
The project, billed as ‘a sustainable integrated land development’ will both conserve rainforest and reforest the grassed plains with cash crops including coffee and coconuts.
Continue reading "Boost to commerce & conservation in Oro" »
Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey used parliament to put reserve bank governor Leo Bakani on the spot (PNG Bulletin)
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s Treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has sent a strong ‘please explain’ to PNG’s central bank governor, Loi Bakani.
Ling-Stuckey minced no words in asking Bakani why he had disassociated the central bank from its own Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU).
Continue reading "Treasurer confronts Bakani on money-laundering " »
PNG petroleum minister Kerenga Kua and Esso PNG chairman Peter Larden (Lorraine Wohi)
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s petroleum minister Kerenga Kua and ExxonMobil PNG managing director Peter Larden have announced that talks will resume on the P’nyang natural gas project.
In November 2019 negotiations collapsed with the PNG government saying Exxon was unwilling to negotiate on PNG’s terms.
Continue reading "PNG resumes gas field talks with Exxon" »
PNG mining minister Johnson Tuke, who falsely claims PNG mining is sustainable & has trouble wearing a face mask, poses with ambassador Jernej Videtic of the European Union, which is trying to convince PNG that 'green mining' is a thing
MADANG – At a meeting to discuss sustainable mining with European Union ambassador to PNG, Jernej Videtic, Papua New Guinea’s mining minister Johnson Tuke claimed his government is mindful of the impact mining has on the environment and people’s livelihoods.
Tuke also claimed the PNG government is addressing these issues by updating its regulatory framework and demanding investors introduce modern and sustainable technologies to diminish the negative impact of mining on the environment.
These claims were totally wrong. They were without truth.
Continue reading "The bare-faced lie of sustainable mining" »
Chris Overland - 'Consultancies not all bad news for smart public servants'
ADELAIDE - A seminal idea underpinning neo-liberal capitalism is that private enterprise is always more efficient and cost effective than a public entity.
This notion informs much of the decision making surrounding the hiring of consultants, the target of a polemic by my colleague Philip Fitzpatrick in PNG Attitude yesterday.
Continue reading "Consultants: watch-borrowers hard at work" »
ADELAIDE - Bernard Corden’s splendid article, 'A Question of Balance', neatly describes the situation the Western world is now in and how we got here.
Neo-liberal capitalism is, in many respects, the reaction of the propertied classes against the sometimes unduly restrictive nostrums of democratic socialism that emerged in its full form in the aftermath of World War II.
Continue reading "Can capitalism be tamed?" »
NOOSA - Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, James Marape, has warned Santos and Oil Search he expects them to maintain a significant number of senior Indigenous executives in PNG if their announced K56 billion merger goes ahead.
“We do not wish for the largest oil and gas company operating in our country to simply be a branch office of a foreign company,” Marape said, signalling he may require a merged company to retain jobs and offices in PNG and prioritise the development of local gas resources.
Continue reading "Marape: Gas merger ‘must be in national interest’" »
Pokpok Island near Kieta. Tourism at community level has great potential for small business and, in the long term, to promote Bougainville as a peaceful and beautiful Pacific destination
KIETA - We can talk about and hold up and dangle tourism as a potential driver and earner of Bougainville’s internal revenue - talking is easy.
We are creatures of habit and instinct and we keep talking and talking if it sounds good without realising things are much more involved and will take a lot more focused human effort than we think.
Continue reading "Let’s put our feet where our mouth is" »
| ZDNet | Edited extracts
SYDNEY - Australia is funding the potential purchase of a Pacific telco for only one reason, to ensure China Mobile doesn't get to it first.
It now appears Australia wants a crack at showing the world how to keep companies out of Chinese ownership.
Continue reading "Oz sweats to keep Pacific telcos from China" »
Influential Bougainville politician, Theonila Matbob - Prominent in advocating that Rio Tinto should accept responsibility for cleaning up Panguna's devastating legacy
NOOSA – After several months of discussions Rio Tinto and 156 Bougainville community members, represented by the Human Rights Law Centre, last week reached an agreement to assess legacy impacts of the former Panguna copper and gold mine on Bougainville.
The mine was operated by Bougainville Copper Ltd (BCL), then majority owned by Rio Tinto, from 1972 until 1989 when operations were suspended following guerrilla against the mine and a subsequent civil war.
Continue reading "Rio ready to deal with unfinished business" »
Tailings waste flowing into Konawiru-Jaba River delta on the Bougainville west coast
| SBS News
BRISBANE - Multinational mining giant Rio Tinto has agreed to fund an independent assessment of the human rights and environmental impacts of its former Panguna copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea’s autonomous region of Bougainville.
Rio Tinto abandoned the mine in 1989 during a brutal civil conflict on Bougainville and now no longer holds a stake after controversially divesting its shareholding to the PNG and Bougainville governments in 2016, rejecting corporate responsibility for environmental damage.
Continue reading "Rio agrees to review of Panguna impacts" »
Menya River (Brian Chapaitis)
PORT MORESBY - This article breaks down some of the myths used to justify the privatisation of customary land.
It makes clear that efforts to privatise land are not about development but about profits for corporations, financial institutions and already wealthy people.
Continue reading "Don't privatise our customary land" »
Cartoonist Mark David depicts treasurer Frydenberg and prime minister Morrison's flawed efforts in managing the pandemic and the economy
ADELAIDE – Keith Jackson has rightly written (‘Lethargic Australia drops ball on Covid’) that the Morrison government has failed dismally to do its job in relation to both quarantine and vaccination relating to Australia’s Covid pandemic.
The direct result of this failure is that the State premiers have had to do all the heavy lifting to contain the virus.
Continue reading "Neo-liberal dogma seen in Oz Covid failures" »
Loi Bakani - "The Bank of PNG disassociates itself from the statement made by FASU”
NOOSA – Transparency International PNG (TIPNG) has strongly supported PNG’s financial regulator after Central Bank governor dissociated his bank from action it had taken to investigate possible money laundering.
TIPNG chair Peter Aitsi called on the government and the private sector to respect the independence of the Financial Analysis and Supervision Unit (FASU).
Continue reading "Transparency defends besieged regulator" »
Then Treasurer Don Polye refused to approve the deal and was sacked by prime minister Peter O’Neill. Polye is one of the few people to emerge with honour from the scandal
| Australian Financial Review | Extracts
SYDNEY - For the past four months, a royal commission into an eight-year-old deal most Australians have never heard of, in a country that rarely rates a mention, has been quietly chipping away.
Forced online by Covid-19, the inquiry into a $1.3 billion (K3.4 billion) loan extended by the Sydney office of UBS to the government of Papua New Guinea has heard from prime ministers, chief executives, a cabinet minister and top bureaucrats.
Continue reading "UBS's K210 million ‘excess’ on loan: expert" »
Bank South Pacific in Port Moresby
| Investor Daily
SYDNEY - A Papua New Guinea-based banking group listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has caught the ire of the regulator for alleged serious breaches of Australia’s anti-money laundering rules.
BSP Financial Group (BFL), which listed on the ASX earlier this year, is the largest bank in PNG with branches in six South Pacific nations.
Continue reading "Big bank in money laundering claims" »
Sir Julius Chan, EITI secretariat head Lucas Alkan and New Ireland provincial administrator Lamiller Pawut
| PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
KAVIENG - New Ireland governor Sir Julius Chan says a proposed law to promote transparency and accountability in mining and petroleum will keep everyone honest in the long run.
Chan made this remark when he opened the Extractive Industries Transparency Commission Bill consultation for the New Guinea Island Region.
Continue reading "Law to keep extractive industries in check" »
Malcolm Kela Smith (PNGi). "Mal's response was furious and littered with profanities. Needless to say, my relationship with him ended acrimoniously"
| Ex Kiap Website | Edited
BARDON, QLD - The people who live along the Sepik River, who depend upon it for their livelihoods, are facing the fight of a lifetime.
The Chinese-owned Guangdong Rising through its subsidiary, PanAust, is seeking approval from the Papua New Guinea government to establish the Frieda River copper and gold mine.
Continue reading "The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith" »
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’" »
Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga speaking during the online 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM)
| Sunday Bulletin
PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape wants Japan, Australia and New Zealand to establish an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries as part of the fight against Covid-19.
Marape made his appeal at Friday's 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting, which was held virtually.
Continue reading "PNG wants Japan-Pacific economic bubble" »
An unmaintained road in Lae PNG's second largest city
YUNGABURRA - The Collins English dictionary defines the word ‘maintain’ as the ‘to keep in proper or good condition’.
And, of course, it is a standard procedure for a successful business to always allocate funds in its budget for repair and maintenance.
Potholes must be filled before they become enormous craters; engine oil must be changed according to the manufacturer’s schedule; tyres must be replaced when worn out. And so a very long list goes on.
Continue reading "750 languages but no word for maintenance" »
The beautiful west coast of New Ireland's Namatanai district where the Kamlapar clan is located
NOOSA - Landowners on the west coast of New Ireland's Namatanai district claim a US-based company is illegally selling carbon credits on the international market that have been obtained by fraud.
The Kamlapar Incorporated Land Group alleges that New Ireland Hardwood Timber (NIHT), and its PNG-registered subsidiary NI Holdings, entered their customary land without clan consent having been engaged by clan members who had no authority to deal with the company.
Continue reading "Namatanai clans fight alleged land fraud" »
I've been everywhere man. James Rice on one of his many trips through PNG
| My Land, My Country
LAE -The motorbike-riding Paradise Foods CEO, James Rich, has ridden his machine from Lae to Gembogl, travelled a portion of the mighty Sepik River, set foot on the banks of Lake Sirunki and admired the salt ponds in Enga.
His approach to living and working in Papua New Guinea has been refreshing for many of us who have grown weary of the negative attention of the media.
Continue reading "‘Buy local like me,’ says the ice cream man" »
Finance minister Don Polye was sacked because he refused to sign documents to facilitate the enormous loan agreement
PORT MORESBY – Senior politicians and others who engineered a K3 billion loan to the Papua New Guinea government in 2014 must be held accountable, says former Treasurer Don Polye
In that year the O'Neill government decided to borrow the money, which represented 75% of the PNG budget, from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Continue reading "Polye attacks men behind K3b UBS loan" »
Governor Gary Juffa - "I am beginning to truly understand my grandfather’s deep joy for working the land"
GOVERNOR GARY JUFFA
| Asia-Pacific Anticorruption & Human Rights Advocate Group
KOKODA - Finally my cocoa trees are growing and bearing fruit. Kokoda Block 168 is slowly coming back to life.
As a child I used to wander this small portion of land so treasured by Victor Juffa, my grandfather and adoptive father.
Continue reading "Precious land & the good life on Block 168" »
Crew of the Chinese training ship Qi Jiguang on a visit Dili (Li Mingyu, China Military Online)
WARRADALE, SA - In September 1999, I went to East Timor (Timor-Leste) to work with an aid agency in the aftermath of the 25-year civil war and the savage lead-up to the independence referendum.
It is almost impossible to imagine the devastation that was visited on this former province of Indonesia that became an independent but desperately poor nation.
Continue reading "China & Australia hold perils for PNG" »