CAIRNS - What is unfolding in Papua New Guinea is nothing short of a human tragedy on a significant scale.
Superficially the nation’s woes appear to be the result of corruption. But they are more complex than that.
This is not the first time we have witnessed failures of the state and the inevitable outcomes.
Continue reading "Communities only answer to PNG failures" »
William Shakespeare Redux - “Some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, some have leadership thrust upon them and some do purchase it”
TUMBY BAY – A much quoted aphorism on the internet comes from William Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them,” the bard wrote.
What Shakespeare was writing about in 1601 was inherited leadership, such as that of the aristocracy, and the play is, appropriately for our times, framed in a context of a dying society crumbling into decay.
Continue reading "Forget born or made, you can buy leadership" »
ADELAIDE – Much of yesterday’s fine polemic by Bernard Corden and Keith Jackson, Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle, rang all too true for me, as did Barry Jones’ Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy.
Jones is right, only we as citizens can change anything.
Continue reading "The struggle to retain a people’s democracy" »
Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Sterling Hayden) in 'Dr Strangelove', a black comedy directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick (1964)
BERNARD CORDEN & KEITH JACKSON
“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil” - Anthony Burgess
“Your Commie has no regard for human life. Not even his own” – Brigadier General Jack D Ripper (Dr Strangelove)
“Mr President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks” - General 'Buck' Turgidson (Dr Strangelove)
Continue reading "Our impure Ozocracy is beginning to buckle" »
Australia's House of Representatives. Barry Jones was science minister from 1983-90
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations
| Edited extracts
MELBOURNE - Only an active citizenry can prevent Australia sliding towards authoritarianism or populist democracy.
Democracy faces its greatest existential crisis since the 1930s. Hitler used democratic forms to come to power in Germany but rejected the democratic ethos.
Continue reading "Citizens must rescue Australia’s wobbly democracy" »
Some of the controversial and much unused Maseratis. It's said spare parts may be a problem in PNG but those street mechanics will turn their hands to that
ASIA NEWS DESK
| British Broadcasting Corporation
LONDON - Papua New Guinea has admitted making a ‘terrible mistake’ after struggling to sell a £4.2m (K20 million) fleet of luxury cars bought to impress politicians during a meeting of regional leaders.
The then-O’Neill government boasted the Maseratis would be snapped up after being used for the 2018 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference.
Continue reading "'Hot-cake' Maseratis now a bargain. Maybe" »
ADELAIDE - Over a 40 year career in public service I saw many attempts to reform the organisations that provide it.
All such efforts were aimed in increasing efficiency and productivity and usually required major reorganisations, with changes made according to the ideas or prejudices of the people driving the supposed reforms.
Continue reading "The deliberate corrosion of public service" »
Michael Pascoe, Gladys Berejiklian and Darryl Maguire - "Political corruption has evolved to the extent of politicians claiming it doesn’t matter and voters expect it"
| The New Daily
SYDNEY - Evolution happens. Sometimes it’s fast, turbo-charged by an asteroid; sometimes it’s at the speed of dripping water wearing a channel through rock, but it happens.
Right now we are witnessing a high-speed evolution of political integrity in Australia.
In fairly short order, we’ve gone from a premier grabbing bags of cash and selling knighthoods, to a premier resigning over what might be a matter of diving into the pork barrel to do a mate a favour.
Continue reading "The erosion of Australia’s political integrity" »
TUMBY BAY - This is an interesting question when you consider that Australia will be going to an election fairly soon.
The current Morrison government is irrelevant when it comes to tackling climate change.
The world is moving forward, as are our state governments and corporations, but the federal government is still pathetically twiddling its thumbs.
Continue reading "What to do in case of irrelevant government" »
Dr Joe Ketan - "The failed government systems have set PNG back many years – this time back to the stone age" (DWU)
| My Land, My Country
KUK - Public sector reform is an alien concept to the people of Papua New Guinea.
The idea has been brought into countries like PNG by fly-by-night consultants, whose knowledge seems based almost exclusively on trendy paperbacks purchased at airport bookshops on their way to their new jobs in Third World capitals.
Continue reading "40 years lost on useless reforms" »
Peter Aitsi speaks at the Open Government Partnership conference
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY – The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is Papua New Guinea’s biggest multi-stakeholder initiative promoting good governance and a people-focused democracy.
Last week’s OGP national good governance conference in partnership with the European Union formally opened a conversation on these important issues.
Continue reading "Partnership takes aim at better governance" »
Scott 'Beefy' Morrison attacking a dog's eye (aka maggot bag or rat's coffin)
ADELAIDE – While I fully agree with Keith Jackson's comments, ‘The pandemic in Oz: Time for a reckoning’, I am pessimistic that the Morrison government will be ejected from office based upon the grievous failures Keith described so eloquently.
Basically, Scott Morrison can and will exploit the apathy, ignorance, credulity and fear of far too many Australians who will vote to ensure that government remains in what he will characterise as his 'safe hands'.
Continue reading "Can the daggy dad do it all again?" »
CLEVELAND – I don't disagree about recent observations in PNG Attitude about the political blunders made in Australia’s response to the Covid threat.
But I believe the core problem lies within our system of selecting political leaders.
Continue reading "Crisis of competence: Our flawed pollies" »
ADELAIDE - Throughout history, civilisations have risen and fallen regularly. There are many reasons but the process of decay often starts within.
The first clear indicator that all is not well emerges, somewhat perversely, at the very height of the civilisation’s power and influence.
The ancient Greeks coined a term for this malady: hubris.
Continue reading "The decline of the West. What of PNG?" »
Scott Morrison - "pious Christian hypocrisies"
TUMBY BAY - After an initial desperate foray into Keynesian economics at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak in Australia, the federal government is under increasing pressure from big corporations to revert to business as usual.
This is despite the rapid escalation in recent weeks of the crisis created by the Delta variant.
Continue reading "A government prepared to see its people die" »
TUMBY BAY - The first hint that everything was not well at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) came when the seven o’clock evening television news began to include reports about car crashes and house fires in its line-up.
Not long after that stories about football began to appear in the main bulletin. Suddenly the impact of Covid-19 on the sport, and where the finals would be held, seemed of significant import.
Continue reading "Crippled: Our most trusted news source" »
Carolyn Blacklock - senior woman adviser engaged on an Australian government funded program finds herself in hot water
PORT MORESBY – Carolyn Blacklock, former acting managing director of PNG Power, has been arrested by a police criminal investigation team and charged with conspiracy, forgery, false pretence and misappropriation.
The forensic team had been established by police commissioner David Manning to investigate high level financial crimes.
Continue reading "Adviser’s arrest spells trouble all round" »
Bureaucracy and Democracy: A Political Dilemma by Eva Etzioni-Halevy, Routledge, 278 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0415555371. Paperback, $64.71. Available from Amazon - link here
TUMBY BAY - The only textbook I ever kept from my rather eclectic university studies was Eva Etzioni-Halevy’s ‘Bureaucracy and Democracy: A Political Dilemma’.
I came across it recently while rummaging through my bookshelves for something else and decided to dip into it again.
Continue reading "Those were the days (just 40 years ago)" »
TUMBY BAY – It happened when we were still absorbing dire warnings in the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and reeling from the latest Covid-19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.
That’s when the Taliban strolled into Kabul and took Afghanistan back after 20 years of occupation by the Americans and their allies, including Australia.
Continue reading "When leaders became enemies" »
A western NSW vaccination clinic in Dubbo. Indigenous communities are pleading for vaccine, the supply of which the Morrison government constantly lies about (Photo - Ben Wilkins)
NOOSA - It was the slightest of deceits, as unnecessary as it was sly, but nothing out of the ordinary from a person whose honour is tarnished and competency unaccounted for.
I write of the premier of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, who bears much responsibility, together with her soulmate the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, for steering an entire nation into a position of great danger.
Continue reading "Covid: Ineptitude, deception & lies" »
TUMBY BAY - The recent report of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission recommended changes to Papua New Guinea’s Constitution to officially make it a Christian country.
Such a move, should parliament endorse it as seems likely despite some strong opposition, has many intriguing possibilities.
Continue reading "The naïveté of desiring a state religion" »
Belden Namah - "We have seen the bulldozing of laws. This is bad law making. Bad laws will result"
| Leader of the Opposition | Media Statement
PORT MORESBY – The Marape government has postponed parliamentary sittings so often it is now rushing laws through parliament.
During the current sitting, we have before the house a large number of proposed Constitutional laws.
Amendment to the Constitution must undergo certain processes and allow sufficient time for proper parliamentary scrutiny.
Continue reading "Belden hits out at rush to legislate" »
Peter Aitsi - Over a period of years 90% of government agencies have failed to report on how they have spent billions of kina in public funds
| Transparency International PNG
PORT MORESBY – On Tuesday, as Papua New Guinea’s parliament reconvened on Tuesday following a six-month break, Transparency International PNG took the opportunity to highlight multiple failures in accountability by government agencies.
Transparency’s has made public an ‘Accountability Scorecard’ that reveals that the majority of public bodies in PNG had not submitted annual financial statements required by law under the Public Finance Act, with many not reporting for multiple years.
Continue reading "90% of agencies fail to report how billions spent" »
Auditor General Gordon Kega's report on APEC Summit spending is being held back by the Marape government
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s energetic community advocacy group Act Now has told the Marape government it must immediately make public the Auditor General’s report on 2018 APEC Summit spending.
The International Monetary Fund has estimated the Summit cost PNG over K3 billion despite being budgeted at what was already an extraordinary K800 million.
Continue reading "Did APEC cost K3b? Marape won’t say" »
Members of PNG Women in Politics at Nahau Rooney's haus krai (Michelle Nayahamui Rooney)
DOROTHY TEKWIE &
MICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea’s national elections are coming up in 2022, and the national women’s political empowerment movement is gaining momentum again.
PNG women leaders will drive the direction and pace of these debates.
Continue reading "Politik meri: Nahau Rooney’s haus krai" »
When Australia's politicians don't want to and public servants aren't up to, in comes the military - Lieutenant-General John ‘JJ’ Frewen, Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs, Commodore Eric Young (AAP)
ADELAIDE - I think that several causes lie behind the farcical situation described in ‘The man who was told he wasn’t Australian’.
Firstly, I think that the current federal government has repeatedly expressed its hostility to 'illegals' and this sentiment (however false) has now firmly gripped the minds of the immigration bureaucracy.
Continue reading "The grim truth behind a baffling decision" »
Cartoon by Alan Moir
TUMBY BAY - It is remarkable how Australia, in less than 10 years, has become a repressed, uncaring, corrupt and stupid country.
This is despite the existence among its citizens of many caring and enlightened individuals.
But in the many others is observable a disturbing degree of compliance, indifference or capitulation.
Continue reading "She’ll be right mate just doesn’t cut it" »
The Daily Mirror (Sydney) 11 March 1954. The White Australia Policy officially ended in 1958
NOOSA – To augment and provide some formal legal underpinnings for Stefan Armbruster’s fine article on the sad case of Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee, I am publishing two extracts from longer commentaries by legal experts.
For those readers who wish to better understand the arguments involved, and the somewhat confusing (not to mention slender) basis on which Parliament’s sometimes make their laws, I believe these extracts will be useful as they advert to Lee's and other like cases.
Continue reading "‘Floating, adrift on the tides of prejudice’" »
Lady Hannah and Sir Bob Dadae. Sir Bob might be well-advised to stick to the praising, predictabilities and platitudes that are stock-in-trade for vice regal figures around the world
ADELAIDE – Sir Bob Dadae (Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’) is pointing to what, elsewhere in PNG Attitude, I have described as a “truly wicked” policy problem.
The wickedness arises because there is not an obvious solution to pro-autonomy tendencies which can appease both determined separatists and those people equally determined to maintain Papua New Guinea’s current constitutional arrangements.
Continue reading "Some friendly advice to Sir Bob Dadae" »
Sir Bob Dadae
NOOSA - Papua New Guinea’s governor-general Sir Bob Dadae says the country’s disintegration is ‘inevitable’ if Bougainville continues to press for secession and other provinces seek autonomy.
Dadae called on the Marape government not to entertain requests from provinces to break away and seek independence.
Continue reading "Dadae fears PNG disintegration may be ‘inevitable’" »
| Adventure Kokoda
SYDNEY - A 1,400% increase in the number of Australians trekking Kokoda after the opening of the Isurava Memorial in 2002 would normally be hailed an outstanding result for Papua New Guinean tourism and our shared wartime heritage.
But for Canberra based envirocrats, lurking within the corridors of the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts (DEWHA), it had all the hallmarks of an environmental Armageddon.
Continue reading "The Kokoda Trail & the enemy within" »
Haus Tambaran, Palambei, Middle Sepik. Duncan Gavin argues that PNG’s Parliament House should not be called a Haus Tambaran
| Aunamelo Independent Blog
MADANG – Papua New Guinea’s parliament house is one of the world’s most fascinating examples of public architecture.
The building incorporates various structural features found in PNG but the design that dominates is the architectural style of Maprik in East Sepik Province.
Continue reading "N’gego – Melanesia’s house of governance" »
Highlands road at Oiyarip looking toward Mendi
FR GARRETT ROCHE SVD
MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - My initial response to Jim Moore’s item, ‘Thoughts of Then, Now & Cultural Variance’, was to try to figure out which road Jim was referring to and what clans were involved.
Then Jim continued to discuss the appropriateness of the Western parliamentary system for an independent Papua New Guinea. So will I.
Between Mt Hagen and Togoba there are at least two roads heading towards Bukapena.
Continue reading "Roads connect but government can divide" »
Westminster system spared Papua New Guinea nothing, not even the Speaker 's wig
CLEVELAND – It has taken me a long time to reach an understanding of what the problem was leading up to Papua New Guinea’s independence.
At the time, in the 1970s, the thought process was that the Westminster system works for us in Australia, this we can impose this obviously working system as a unifying force for a people and their many hundreds of cultures.
Continue reading "System we gave PNG just doesn’t work" »
CAIRNS – Michael Dom is right (Two questions long struggled with) in asking how can Papua New Guinea return to cooperation and how can the common people hold power to account and keep it responsible?
No one doubts the absolute necessity for a strong well-governed and administered political centre.
A modern nation state does not exist without it.
Continue reading "Needed: A compact between govt & people" »
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" »
Sweet potato farming in the Southern Highlands - communal sharing for mutual benefit is the Melanesian Way
LAE – Power, power, power. Yeah, sure.
In Papua New Guinea subsistence agriculture is a basic mode of living, resources are communally shared and political power is gained and maintained by the assurance of mutual benefit for all.
It can be challenging to understand that the infant national character (that which emerged through parliamentary democracy) doesn't know what to do about the vast wealth made available to it.
Continue reading "Two questions long struggled with" »
CAIRNS - Patrick Angrai’s article, Death of a Teacher, hit me hard too. Firstly sadness, then anger.
Death in childbirth, through lack of timely referral or resources, is so horribly common in rural settings and often goes unreported.
As Arthur Williams has said, how can this happen in such a resource rich country?
Continue reading "PNG must make people the centre of power" »
President Toroama addresses people at Buka's Bel Park after the Wabag leaders' meeting
BUKA – Discussions were “tough”, Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama has revealed after last week’s top level talks in Wabag with Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape.
Describing the leaders’ meeting in Wabag as “tough”, Toroama told a public meeting in Buka that Bougainville’s independence must be settled so the autonomous province can move forward.
Continue reading "Back our independence mission: Toroama" »
| My Land, My Country | Edited
JOSEPHSTAAL - Jerolyn Arimbandai was the only female teacher at the newly-established Catholic high school at Josephstaal in the Madang Province.
She was married to Steven Arimbandai, a Josephstaal man and also a teacher at the school. They had one child and were expecting their second.
Continue reading "Death of a teacher" »
Malcolm Fraser, prime minister of Australia, 1975-83, popularised the maxim, 'Life wasn't meant to be easy'. The issue of Bougainville independence is a vexing one for all PNG politicians
ADELAIDE – Martyn Namarong is quite correct in his commentary, ‘Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG’, both in his analysis of the Bougainville dilemma and his discussion of the implications for Papua New Guinea.
Denying Bougainville independence would be a catastrophe for PNG; while granting it independence will inevitably open up fissures in the wider PNG polity.
Continue reading "Bougainville was not meant to be easy" »
The headline that James Marape condemned as 'misleading'
NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s prime minister James Marape has been forced to state publicly that at no point has his government agreed to Bougainville independence.
Marape has attacked the PNG Post-Courier’s reporting of his Wabag meeting with Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama, stating that “in no part [of our joint statement] is Independence mentioned."
Continue reading "Bougainville puts press in political crossfire" »
Martyn Namorong - "PNG needs a new Constitution that recognises the different tribal nations and empowers them with their full rights to self-determination within a political union"
| PNG Signal
PORT MORESBY - Will Papua New Guinea break up if Bougainville is granted full independence?
For some PNG leaders the threat of balkanization has shaped their attitudes towards Bougainville leaving the union of 850 tribes.
One of them is prime minister James Marape, who recently pleaded with Bougainville's leaders to take into consideration PNG’s fate when deliberating on the matter.
Continue reading "Bougainville highlights need for a new PNG" »
Enga governor Peter Ipatas welcomes prime minister James Marape to Enga Province for the Bougainville summit
NOOSA – The second summit between prime minister James Marape and president Ishmael Toroama this week agreed that Bougainville’s quest for independence should be determined no earlier than 2025 and no later than 2027.
The top level Wabag talks also agreed there will be consultations throughout Papua New Guinea on the outcome of the 2019 Bougainville referendum, in which 98% of voters opted for independence for the autonomous province.
Continue reading "Toroama to Marape: Get real on independence" »
NOOSA - Papua New Guineans are not alone. More than half of Australians think corruption is commonplace amongst their politicians.
This has been revealed in an Australia Talks national survey commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in which 60,000 Australians were asked about their lives and what keeps them up at night.
Continue reading "Our politicians are corrupt, say Australians" »
| Lowy Interpreter
WAIGANI - Papua New Guinea will conduct its tenth national election in 2022. A by-election last week for the Port Moresby North West electorate provides a preview of what to expect next year.
In PNG, a by-election is required when a vacancy occurs more than a year before the issue of writs for the next election.
Continue reading "What you can expect in the 2022 elections" »
BRYAN KRAMER MP
| Kramer Report
MADANG - While campaigning for his candidate during the Moresby North-West by-election, opposition leader Belden Namah announced he would ensure the Scientist from Madang [aka Bryan Kramer] would not be returned in the 2022 general election.
Continue reading "The Scientist v Namah in war of words" »
Artist's impression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby
THE BAHA’I FAITH IN PNG
Office of External Affairs | Edited extracts
Edited extracts from a submission to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission in response to the public inquiry into declaring Papua New Guinea a Christian country. Link here to read the full submission
PORT MORESBY - From the outset, the Baha’i Faith upholds and affirms our oneness as a people and we acknowledge that a vital component of our collective identity is our diversity.
Indeed, our country is a paradigm of diverse peoples, myriads of cultures and languages accompanied by respective beliefs, intricately woven together to form a complete whole.
Continue reading "One People: A vision for unity in diversity" »
ADELAIDE - I happened to be looking through the Classifieds in the Adelaide Advertiser on Monday (not something I usually do, I was checking for a Death Notice).
And there, on the way to the Death Notices, I saw an advertisement, a Request for Tender in fact, from the Commonwealth Department of Finance.
Continue reading "Taking the ‘service’ out of Public Service" »
Ishmael Toroama has a quiet word with James Marape at the Kokopo summit. Talks conclude with two firm positions espoused. Are they reconcilable?
NOOSA – Bougainville president Ishmael Toroama’s declaration that the autonomous province will gain political independence from Papua New Guinea in June 2025 has left PNG prime minister James Marape with a delicate issue to negotiate.
The complexity of the challenge Marape faces became clear in two statements he made following the conclusion of the Kokopo consultations, during which Toroama had made his shock announcement that he had a firm date for Bougainville independence.
Continue reading "Marape to Toroama: ‘My job is to preserve the union’" »