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
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" »
“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
| 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" »
We live in a neo-liberal system that greatly benefits the few while harming the many who live in increasing poverty. It allows foreign companies to exploit and an elite to flourish while it subjugates the ordinary people by imposing limits on how they can benefit from development. It is a system that is unsustainable
The Buka passage (Pinterest)
ADELAIDE - It’s wonderful to read Leonard Fong Roka’s words about his beloved Bougainville once again. His is a voice that deserves to be heard.
Earlier this week, he drew attention to the grievous failure of Papua New Guinea's ruling elites to deliver anything of real substance to the people who elected them to govern (‘Independence? Can We Get There From Here?’).
Continue reading "Bougainville is heading the same way as PNG" »
The problem is not too few resources, a small population, a lack of investor confidence or some other excuse the politicians use to cover their incompetence. The problem is poor leadership
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA - Bougainville is a small island with enough resources for its population and we should be able to deliver good lives to ourselves.
Sure, there’s the crisis of global warming to harm her, but this is a world crisis which we do not face alone.
Continue reading "Independence? Can we get there from here?" »
The government is telling the world about our forthcoming independence while in practice inviting foreigners to take over our available resources and turn Bougainvilleans into beggars
LEONARD FONG ROKA
PANGUNA - From childhood and into maturity most Bougainvilleans have being subjected by our elders to the word ‘Independence’.
Especially around Panguna in Central Bougainville, my own mama graun, we grew up with all the associated politics of our island forcefully seeking to become a nation in its own right.
Continue reading "Bougainville’s nation-building goes off track" »
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
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" »
“I want to warn the country about ‘lazy man expectations’ that money from oil, gas and mining would be a permanent solution for our economy; far from it” – James Marape
James Marape speaking in parliament this week
JAMES MARAPE MP
| James Marape News Page | Edited
WAIGANI – The story of Papua New Guinea is not bad as many people make it out to be.
By 2027, the Budget will be in surplus and by the mid-2030s PNG will have paid its total sovereign debt on the way to becoming a K200 billion economy.
Continue reading "Marape says PNG's prospects now look strong" »
Corruption is a huge problem in PNG and has a huge economic cost. PNG is ranked by Transparency International as one of the most corrupt countries in the Asia-Pacific region
"Research by Act Now! showed how just a one-point improvement in PNG’s corruption score could boost the economy by K10 billion a year or 14%, equivalent to over K1,200 for every woman, man and child in PNG" - Eddie Tanago
| Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - Effective action against corruption is essential for economic growth and it should be the number one priority for the new Marape government.
Recent findings by the National Research Institute has reaffirmed the importance of good governance and the rule of law in attracting new investment, increasing employment opportunities and boosting government revenues.
Continue reading "Corruption is suffocating economic growth" »
When prime minister O’Neill visited China frequently. “Peter O’Neill could not resist red carpets, and the Chinese rolled them out for him,” Paul Barker, PNG Institute of National Affairs
The 23-storey Noble Center, the tallest building in PNG built at a cost of $95 million (K230 million) by the China Railway Construction Engineering Group, was denied an occupancy certificate by the city building authority last September. It remains unoccupied
| The Monthly | Extract
MELBOURNE - Heading a new term of government, prime minister James Marape said he would issue a list of business categories reserved for Papua New Guineans below a certain investment level.
“I am not going to be prime minister to see the erosion of business opportunities for PNG nationals, like restaurants, guesthouses, lodges, being filled by entrepreneurs or businessmen from outside,” he said.
Continue reading "China gold has been tarnished under Marape" »
Corruption is an insidious cancer in the social, economic and political fabric of the nation. It will have to be stamped out if Papua New Guinea is ever to reach its true potential
Tolai man uses tabu (shell money) to buy a soft drink in a Chinese store (Claudio Sieber)
ADELAIDE – Let us suppose that the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) was not both corrupted and inefficient.
If this was so, then the PNG’s Chinese traders, described by Hamish McDonald in the current issue of The Monthly (link here $ or read an extract here), might have sufficient confidence in the system so they would not feel compelled to adopt some of the extrajudicial measures referred to in the article.
Continue reading "The insidious cancer that is corruption" »
'Operating with cash only, ignoring company or goods-and-services tax obligations, importing goods through sometimes unorthodox channels....the Fujian businesses have been unbeatable competition at the bottom end of the consumer market'
"Periodically, mobs attack and ransack Chinese stores in PNG towns, as they also have in Honiara, the Solomon Islands capital"
| The Monthly | Extract
MELBOURNE - Who should Australia believe about China’s business and strategic interests in Papua New Guinea?
Aiambak, 469 kilometres up the Fly River from the Torres Strait, is on the frontier of China’s contemporary reach into the wider world.
Continue reading "The new breed of Chinese trading in PNG" »
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
| 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" »
The truth is that imitation and exchange have long been integral in the development of human societies. Begging, borrowing or stealing other people’s ideas drives socio-cultural and economic change around the globe
ADELAIDE - Raymond Sigimet’s article, ‘The cruel and brazen theft of bilum designs’, has raised a significant issue and in so doing exposes a veritable witches brew of tricky problems.
Rightly, he regards the use of traditional bilum designs for other purposes as an example of what is commonly called 'cultural appropriation' – which occurs when cultural features or artefacts of a group are adopted by other groups or individuals in an exploitative or disrespectful way.
Continue reading "Heritage, bilums & cultural appropriation" »
The sale of these splendid (and strong) string bags and other products based on bilum design is putting money into the hands of many creative and hard-working women who sustain this national art
Bilum designs on fabrics displayed for sale (Florence Jaukae, Facebook)
DAGUA - The bilum is no ordinary string bag. It is part of the Papua New Guinea persona.
It is part of our identity. It is a national symbol. It is a shared experience in our diversity.
Papua New Guinea bilum designs are unique to our country.
Continue reading "The cruel & brazen theft of bilum designs" »
‘Papua New Guineans are lost today because we were not taught financial literacy in the education system. It’s one of the key components of giving people a good life’
Business seminar participants at the Lamana Hotel (Geraldine Maien)
| Journalism Student | University of PNG
PORT MORESBY – Investing safely in online in global forex trading featured at a business seminar in Port Moresby last weekend.
The two-day program at the Lamana Hotel was facilitated by Peter Kinjap, director of Howarig Traders, a locally registered enterprise.
Continue reading "Training provides financial literacy ability" »
This is the context within which the problems confronting Papua New Guinea must be understood. It seems destined to be presented with a series of very unpleasant debt refinancing decisions over the next several years
ADELAIDE - It is difficult to comprehend that only now is the International Monetary Fund belatedly issuing warnings about debt in South East Asia, the Pacific and elsewhere.
The proverbial writing has been on the wall for literally years that the world's mountainous debt was, in reality, a 'debt bomb' waiting to go off.
Continue reading "Is the debt bomb beginning to explode?" »
"There are many countries in the region which are facing high debt numbers. And some of these are in debt distress territory. So that’s something which we have to watch out for"
Downtown Port Moresby and dockland
| CNBC | Edited
SINGAPORE - Rising debt levels driven by inflation and tightening financial conditions across Asia and in Papua New Guinea are cause for concern, according to the International Monetary Fund’s Krishna Srinivasan.
“If you look at debt for the region, if you look at Asia’s share of total debt, aggregate debt, that’s gone up quite sharply,” Srinivasan, director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the IMF, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Continue reading "IMF warns that rising debt puts PNG at risk" »
All the indications are that there is much more push and shove to come before we know whether China will have a tangible presence on the Torres Strait – and whose military and navy will occupy two proposed bases at Ihu
Ihu Special Economic Zone groundbreaking ceremony by cheerful Chinese ambassador Zeng Fanhua and PNG foreign minister Soroi Eoe. The project is of vast importance to the impoverished Gulf Province but poses strategic problems for Australia as China seeks to consolidate its interests in the Torres Strait region
NOOSA - Reports in the Australian media that China is readying to build a military base at Ihu Papua New Guinea’s Gulf Province have been dismissed as “baseless and hype” by the Chinese embassy in Port Moresby.
China has reacted with anger to media reports that the developing Ihu Special Economic Zone at Kikori in Gulf Province will be a platform for a Chinese military base.
Continue reading "China's moves take shape in Torres Strait" »
In Amazon’s early days there was a hint of a benevolent and philanthropic spirit in its business model, but the ogre of profit at all costs has overtaken all other considerations
TUMBY BAY - Michael Dom and I have just endured an incredibly dispiriting battle with Amazon Kindle over an extremely trivial matter of copyright involving the Ples Singsing anthology of student essays from the 2020 competition.
This issue has thankfully now been resolved and the anthology is available on Amazon as both an eBook and a paperback.
Continue reading "Kindly Kindle became a greedy book monster" »
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 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?" »
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
Bougainville rebels watch over the Panguna mine site (Encyclopaedia of New Zealand)
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" »
ADELAIDE -It is hard not to become despondent when you see Pacific Islands nations left out of Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework – a 13 nation initiative designed to curb China’s influence in the region.
It seems the United States, and the West in general, have not learned from history.
Were open warfare to eventuate between China and Western powers, it is certain the Pacific Islands would become a major arena for combat.
Continue reading "Biden must invite PNG into economic bloc" »
| Harvard International Review | Extracts
Compared with China, the West’s contributions to electrification are less tangible and far less financially robust
CAMBRIDGE MA USA - Amidst global discussion of the increasingly competitive dynamic emerging between China and the United States, Papua New Guinea represents a potential battlefield.
As the country works to establish a functional electricity network, Chinese and Western-allied involvement in the process has presented a point of competition.
Continue reading "China v the West in great PNG electricity war" »
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" »
| 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" »
| New Dawn FM
BUKA – Bougainville vice-president and commerce minister, Patrick Nisira, has said the number of tourists visiting the province has declined because of the continuing Covid pandemic.
He said most present visitors to Bougainville are business people whose work is connected to the development of the province.
Continue reading "Bougainville to revive tourism after Covid" »
ADELAIDE – Right now, we have a complete overload of dumbness to contend with around the world.
Let me give an example from a field I know something about - hospitals and aged care.
In these health industry sectors, there are some functions that can be effectively outsourced but they are substantially fewer than you might assume.
Continue reading "The huge damage of political managerialism" »
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
“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.
Continue reading "My jobs scheme for Moresby has liftoff" »
| Campaign Manager | Act Now
PORT MORESBY – News that the bank accounts of 30 logging companies operating in Papua New Guinea have been closed have been welcomed by advocacy organisations Act Now and Jubilee Australia.
The PNG Forest Industry Association complained to The National newspaper that Bank South Pacific (BSP) had closed the commercial loggers’ bank accounts to comply with its anti-money laundering responsibilities.
Continue reading "BSP stops financing loggers. Will Kina?" »
ADELAIDE - History can be used to justify all sorts of things - if you select the bits of it you want to reference, that is.
Selective quotation is a tactic used by both the left and the right of politics to justify their positions on a range of issues.
Continue reading "How you & your bank create money" »
James Marape and Joko Widodo meet over tea in Jakarta
NOOSA – Papua New Guinean prime minister James Marape’s flying visit to Jakarta late last week drew much criticism on PNG social media because of the size of the accompanying delegation.
The cheap criticism obscured the mini-summit’s importance as an encounter where Marape and Indonesian president Joko Widodo were able to meet privately and face-to-face.
Continue reading "Brief encounter, big step: Nudging closer to Indonesia" »
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" »
Kerenga Kua - “I must say that personally I am ashamed of the government”
| Pacific Mining Watch
PORT MORESBY - Petroleum minister Kerenga Kua says he is ashamed of the PNG government for delays of up to 13 years in K120 million of payments to LNG project landowners.
Kua announced the outstanding funds will soon be released by the PNG Treasury after landowners from the Hides petroleum precinct gave the government 14 days to release the money and respond to other outstanding issues.
Continue reading "Kua ‘shamed’ by late payday for landowners" »
Fairfax Harbour showing Port Moresby CBD and Hanuabada village ( RGAPhoto86, Shutterstock)
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s economy is projected to grow by 4% in 2022, about the same as forecast for Australia, but the World Bank characterises the recovery as ‘fragile’.
As Covid slowed global production, the PNG economy contracted by 3.5% in 2000 but returned a small but positive outcome of 1% last year.
Continue reading "PNG economy ‘fragile’, but don’t mention the C word" »
Crew of Coast Guard Cutter 'Stratton' on patrol in Fiji's exclusive economic zone, February 2022
NOOSA - When the US Coast Guard sailed into Fairfax Harbour, Port Moresby, last Thursday morning to be welcomed by Papua New Guinea’s defence minister Win Daki, there was at least one person feeling disgruntled.
“We are getting ourselves into a serious blunder of a lifetime,” said business leader and national affairs commentator, Corney Alone.
Continue reading "US Coast Guard & PNG: Those who defend must also protect" »
James Marape (left) and Kerenga Kua (seated left) watch while ExxonMobil, Santos and Noex Japan partners sign the near K40 billion P'nyang LNG agreement
NOOSA – Yesterday, as it closed its most beneficial deal yet, it looked like Papua New Guinea had come of age in negotiating agreements with global resource developers.
In what will be a huge boost to PNG’s struggling revenue flow, the P’nyang liquefied natural gas agreement was signed with ExxonMobil and its partners Santos and NOEX of Japan.
Continue reading "Huge P’nyang gas deal 'good for PNG'" »
Eddie Tanago - "The PNG Forest Authority should be abolished". A rogue institution that has orchestrated illegal logging for 30 years
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!
PORT MORESBY - The Marape government’s claims that it has stopped issuing new log export licences to foreign-owned logging companies are not borne out by the evidence.
Nor are its statements that it is moving to 100% downstream processing of logs before they are exported.
Continue reading "Despite promises, foreign loggers run amok" »
President Toroama - Decision of the five clans the "beginning of a new chapter to realise Bougainville’s independence"
BUKA –In a major development, landowners from the Panguna mine area and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) have agreed to re-open the Panguna mine, abandoned after a civil war broke out in 1989.
The mine is one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits with an estimated remaining resource of copper, gold and silver valued at more than K200 billion.
Continue reading "Landowners & ABG agree to reopen Panguna" »
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
Is just a case of others’ suffering
Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
The turning away”
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away, 2015
BRISBANE - Ten years have passed since the traumatic MV Rabaul Queen disaster on 2 February 2012.
The dilapidated rust bucket capsized at daybreak in treacherous waters as it crossed the Vitiaz Strait off the northern coast of Papua New Guinea with the likely loss of about 500 people.
Continue reading "Light turning to shadow, & the turning away" »
A Kodak Instamatic 104 such as Busa's father might have used as a 1970s street photographer
BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO
PORT MORESBY – It was only recently that I discovered my father was once a street photographer.
Back in the 1970s, he and some village friends took up the activity as a form of employment, to earn money, to put food on the table.
This was well before modern digital cameras and smart phones made photography simple and ever-present.
Continue reading "From humble street camera to tool for justice" »
Illegal logging comprises 70% of PNG's timber industry
NOOSA – It is easily the biggest illegal land grab of customary land in Papua New Guinea.
Or maybe anywhere in the world outside what used to be called Communism before they discovered how much loot could be made out of Capitalism.
It is a mass theft encompassing more than five million hectares of land, 12% of the country.
Continue reading "Marape's cronies plunder illegal leases" »
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" »