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IndyWatch PNG and NCD Feed was generated at Australian Local News IndyWatch.

Wednesday, 17 January


O'Neill & Abel start 2018 with a profligate spending binge "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The-state-is-out-of-controlPAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics

Read Paul Flanagans complete article here

CANBERRA Papua New Guineas 2017 supplementary budget was a good start for the ONeill-Abel government, but it then stumbled badly. Politics and presentational games overtook good economic policy.

The government has gone on an unsustainable spending binge in 2018 expenditure is K2 billion (16%) higher than the International Monetary Fund was hoping.

The fiscal implications of this unsustainable spike in expenditure are hidden through misleading revenue games. The 2018 budget assumes revenues that are K1.5 billion higher than the IMFs optimistic scenario. The IMF estimates PNG will break the 35% limit on its debt to GDP ratio.

The IMF also estimates that the deficit to GDP ratio will exceed 3%. Looking at the experience of the 2016 budget, including on-going revelations about payment arrears, the risk is that the deficit will end up being closer to 5% of GDP.

An IMF report was complimentary about treasurer Charles Abels first 2017 supplementary budget. It had hopes for an active fiscal policy continuing into the 2018 budget. They would be sorely disappointed.

The extraordinary blow-out in expenditure, backed by very unrealistic revenue expectations for 2018, severely damages the credibility of the new treasurer.

The politics of protecting constituency funding, the need to be seen to reverse the massive cuts to infrastructure, health and education in recent years as well as the high cost of hosting APEC have all contributed to this unexpected blow-out in expenditure.

The sacrificial lamb in this political budget process was revenue credibility.

As PNGs shadow treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey pointed out, the revenue estimates seem significantly inflated in terms of compliance cost returns, dividends and GST revenues.

The 2018 budget figures are very similar to the 2016 budget K12.7 billion in revenue and K14.8 billion in expenditure. Actual revenues in 2016 ended up being K10.5 billion an extraordinary shortfall of K2.2 billion.

There is a fear that this experience is about to be repeated with probably around K2 billion in unreal......


Shush! If you keep talking I wont be able to hear the TV "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

An American 'conversation pit'


TUMBY BAY - In the late 1960s while attending a course at the Administrative College in Waigani, I was invited to the home of a young American woman who was working at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Id become fascinated by the burgeoning literary scene at the university and had met the woman through a mutual friend who taught there.

She must have had independent means because she had bought a house in Boroko and was busily renovating it. Among the modifications she commissioned was something called a conversation pit.

I first observed it while it was being built. A couple of bemused Papuan carpenters worked on it. They didnt understand its function but nevertheless lent their considerable skills to the task.

The finished pit was essentially a sunken floor within which there was a circle of comfortable seats. In the middle was a low table and there were cushions scattered around.

The pits were apparently popular in America during the 1960-70s and are attributed to Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, who built one for the industrialist J Irwin Miller.

As is the way of these things, when Miller had one everyone had to have one. Thus was the conversation commoditised.

In Ireland the art of conversation had been an age old tradition that existed without the aid of a pit but the art was not really defined until the 1960s when the word craic became popular.

Craic was probably borrowed from the English word crack, which had a similar meaning, but was modified into Gaelic. The Irish tourism industry popularised it when all things Celtic came into vogue. Like many things Celtic, something claimed as an ancient tradition was often invented yesterday.

The word essentially refers to what happens when a group of people get together to talk and gossip, usually in a pub. Whats the craic? is now a commonplace greeting in Ireland.

The idea of gatherings to talk, either idly or with intent, is a custom...


Nadi Aviators name squad for Melanesian Club Championship against Lae Tigers "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Nadi Aviators have named a 30-man squad for the upcoming Melanesian Club Championship match against the Lae Tigers.

The Aviators, who successfully defended their Vodafone Inter-Zone title last year, will be looking to reverse the results of the past two Melanesian Club Championship matches.

First played in 2015, the PNG teams have dominated the tournament so far, with the Agmark Gurias winning the inaugural match 42 2 over the Sabeto Roosters before the Lae Tigers defeated the Nadi Aviators 40 4 in 2017.

The Aviators will play the Tigers at Sir John Guise Stadium in Port Moresby on February 10.

Nadi Aviators Team:
Vereti Bukavesi
Viliame Rakuli
Isimeli Vatanitawake
Antonio Tagicaki
Waisea Saukuru
Joeli Nataki
Atueta Guivalu
Sikeli Qauqau
Sunia Vosikata
Josua Rokonavutoro
Kavekini Varo
Josateki Sovau
Iona Varomusu
Savenaca Naovuka
Maciu Kalou
Maikeli Sivo
Apolosi Ranawai
Rusiate Saukuru
Taniela Gaunavou
Maika Serulevu

Head Coach: Vela Tawake
Asst. Coach: Etika Tukana
Manager: Jacquelin Shannon
S&C Coach: Adi Viniana Qaranivalu
Technical Advisor: Linda Shannon
Team Liaison: Pauliasi Natabe

Source: AsiaPacific Rugby League Confederation


Tongas new multi-million-dollar pack houses "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

More Tongan fresh produce will be exported to international markets with the opening of new pack houses in Tonga.

This should make a big difference to farmers who will be able to sell their crops and other products for export to New Zealand, said Edgar Cocker, CEO of Tongas Ministry Commerce, Trade, Innovation and Labour.

The hope is for the pack houses to boost economic prosperity for local communities through exporting their local produce.

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Trade Commissioner Michael Greenslade met with Tonga Ministry of Commerce, Trade, Innovation and Labour officials Tevita Lautaha and CEO Edgar Cocker in December 2017 to discuss the developments.  PTI NZ has shared a close ongoing working relationship with the Tonga Government.

PTI is absolutely delighted the Tongan Government has stepped into the agricultural sector to give some control and guidance which will lead to greater returns for Tongas growers, Greeenslade said.

We are 100 per cent behind the pack house project and wish Tevita and Edgar all the best in this new venture, he said.

The Government of Tonga secured around TOP$1.5 million (approx US$688,000) towards funding the project.

But the buildings were prompted by a key supply agreement.

Tongan officials struck a key deal in April 2017 after meeting with J & P Turner Limited, parent company of fresh produce importer Fresh Direct and other suppliers.

Although the initial deal would include food, fish and handicrafts as reported in online publication, Kanivatonga, Cocker said they would start by buying and exporting yams, arum, cassava, taro and watermelon.

The new pack house will be equipped with the latest packing equipment bringing it into line with international standards.

New pack houses are planned for building in Vavau, Lapaha, Vaini, Houma and Hihifo in Tongatapu.

The new pack house was blessed by royalty when it was opened on the island of Eua in December by His Majesty King Tupou VI. This was followed by several upgrades to meet the HACCP and international requirements.

J & P Turners has had a long association with Tonga and the agreement highlighted the strength of that relation said Mr Jeff Turner in a 2016 news item.

Turners are one of New Zealands biggest fresh produce buyers.



New calls for sugar tax after research finds more sugar in NZ soft drinks "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The call for a sugar tax has been strengthened by a new study of New Zealand's soft drinks which shows they contain more sugar than in other countries.

The University of Waikato research found the drinks contained a higher amount of sugar than those in most other Western countries.

Lead author Lynne Chepulis said the average fruit juice or soda in New Zealand had up to five or six teaspoons of sugar, compared with maybe three or four teaspoons in the United Kingdom.

She said regulations like sugar taxes were encouraging manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their drinks.

FIZZ founder Dr Gerhard Sundborn said that on average, we had one-and-a-half times more sugar in our fizzy drinks and juice than the likes of Canada, Australia and the US.

He said there was no real regulation around sugar or its industry and that it was time for that to change.

On the back of the findings, the New Zealand Dental Association has also called for action.

Spokesman Dr Rob Beaglehole said there should be an icon on sugary drinks showing how many teaspoons of sugar were in them, a sugary drinks tax and schools should all have water-only policies.

Sugar was a major contributor to dental decay, and the study showed that drinks sold in New Zealand had several teaspoons of sugar more than similar products sold in other countries, he said.

"An end to the confusion around 'sugar per 100mls' is within our grasp. We're asking for a sugary drink icon. This would clearly let consumers know how many teaspoons of sugar are in their drink," Beaglehole said.

"We've seen many countries address sugary drink consumption by adding a levy on the price of sugary drinks. The UK is introducing one in April this year.

"In the past few years we've seen great success in water-only policy for primary and intermediate schools, but this needs to extend to all schools, including high schools."

But the New Zealand Initiative was concerned that sugar tax advocates were misleading the public by pretending to punish manufacturers rather than consumers.

Responding to renewed calls for a sugar tax, policy analyst Jenesa Jeram said there were still no grounds for introducing such a tax in New Zealand.

Jeram said that trying to regulate the sugar content of sugary drinks was likely to have unintended consequences.


Indonesia Sends Military to Help Fight Health Crisis in Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Moeldoko, a retired military chief and newly appointed chief of staff to Indonesian President Joko Widodo's cabinet, attends his swearing in ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Indonesia January 17, 2018. Credit: Reuters/Darren Whiteside

Moeldoko, a retired military chief and newly appointed chief of staff to Indonesian...


Ottio laid to rest "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PNG Kumuls center, the late Kato Ottio has finally been laid to rest today at his Tatana Village in the nation's capital.

The burial ceremony which included a funeral service at the local United Church was attended by hundreds of fans, friends and family from across Port Moresby.

Several gun shots were fired in honor of the late Ottio before he was lowered into a tomb.

Kato Ottio is Kumul number 269 and Hunters number 29.

He had passed away a week ago while training with the SP PNG Hunters.

He was bound for the Widnes Vikings club in the English Super League, however succumbed to what was medically reported as heatstroke.

NBC News - Jason Gima Wuri


PNG Government Accounts open "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PNG Finance Minister James Marape has officially announced the opening of the 2018 financial year today revealing strict guidelines and measures which will be employed to further tidy up the Finance Department this year.

Minister Marape reiterated strict emphasis on its operations within the department in that same habits and patterns in 2017 and before will continue in as far as its role is concerned.

What is budgeted for will be expanded. In 2018 we will stick to what is in the budget, no spending outside of the budget. All expenditures of 2017 and beyond are totally redundant now, said Marape.

He said the department will not be expected to carry on recurrent expenditures of 2017 into 2018 and advised government departments to furnish in their work plans as early as possible for the 2018 fiscal year.

Based on the work plan, we will try our very best to honour the development budget component for the drawdown and management of budget,

Mr. Marape sounded an early warning as well to all agencies of state to conclude their expenditure reports of 2017 by March 31, 2018 as Finance Department was now up to speed in tidying up all expenditures.

Agencies heads who fail to comply with simple financial reports for monies weve given them will not be tolerated, said Minister Marape.


PNG Volcano activity Update "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The current reports issued today by the PNG Rabaul Volcano Observatory of the Department of Mineral Policy & Geohazard Management on the Kadovar Volcano is that it is still erupting. 

The Main Crater produced weak to moderate grey ash clouds to 300 meters above the vent, at long intervals with stronger sustained explosive activity producing ash clouds to 500-800 meters above the summit and is being blown to the South and South West, towards the Sepik River. 
Whilst a Rabaul Volcano Observatory team was installing a seismometer on Kadovar they witnessed one moderate Vulcanian event with glowing rocks expelled. The South West and West Vents are both producing weak emissions but are often obscured by ash from the Main Crater.
A moderate continuous white steam plume is rising from the South East Coastal Vent to 800 meters above the island. The South East Coastal Vent emits a steady red glow at night with some periods of fluctuating glow intensity.

Downwind areas are affected by light haze. Discrete Vulcanian explosions will add pulses of higher ash loads and Seismometers have now been operating since 11:00 am (Local Time) on Blup Blup and at 15:00 pm (Local Time) since Tuesday on Kadovar. Between 11 am yesterday and 8:00 am this morning the Blup Blup seismometer recorded 6 discrete high frequency earthquakes and as for Kadovar earthquakes were at 2 seconds intervals from 14-15 km deep. The volcano is now being seismically monitored in almost real-time, if the situation escalates the number of earthquakes would be expected to increase in number and strength. 
The situation is also being monitored by various satellite techniques. The recording of high frequency earthquakes from Kadovar indicates rock breaking events and indicates the structure is still being stressed and the situation is dynamic.
The Risk level at the moment on the Island is HIGH. And on the Mainland and other nearby Islands, there is a small risk of TSUNAMIS happening.



BSP opens selected branches for Special Operating hours "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) has launched an initiative to open selected branches nationwide for three consecutive Saturdays (Saturday 20th January, Saturday 27th January and Saturday 3rd February, 2018) from 9am - 12pm  to allow BSP Customers the opportunity to collect their new and /or replacement bank cards.
BSP's General Manager Retail, Paul Thornton confirmed this saying, this initiative is to support the post launch activity of BSP's Chip Enabled Visa and MasterCards in order for our customers to replace their old magnetic stripe cards which will be deactivated after  15th February, 2018.

The special operating hours approved by Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) will allow BSP customers to collect their new and/or replacement cards. Collection of Personal Internet Banking Mailers and registration for services such as Mobile Banking and Personal Internet Banking only can also be done during these special trading hours.

"If you a BSP customer and have applied for a KunduCard, Sumatin card or Kids Savings account, you can call our Customer Call Centre to confirm if ready and come on any of the three Saturdays to collect your card(s)," said Mr Thornton.

For the Visa Debit Card, customers must return the old cards to get the replacement.

All BSP branches in the country will operate on these selected dates and times, except for few BSP branches such as Gordon's Commercial Centre (GCC), Aitape, Arawa, Daru, Kainantu, Motukea, Bulolo branch, Bialla, Kundiawa, Lae Commercial, Porgera and Wabag branches.

Customers are advised to bring along a valid identification for collection of new and/or replacement bank cards, collection of Personal Internet Banking Mailers and also identification and Completed Application Form for Mobile Banking and Personal Internet Banking Registration.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the BSP Customer Service Centre (24/7) on 320 1212 or 70301212. You can also visit our BSP website on


Kumul College not recognized "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Papua New Guinea Education Department will not recognize the Kumul Teachers College in Port Moresby, as a training institution.

Education Secretary Dr Uke Kombra said this following reports the college failed to meet requirements of the department.

The privately-owned institution has started enrolling students for the 2018 academic year without seeking approval from the government.

Dr Kombra says the department has a school registration policy for interested individuals and groups to apply, and any teacher training done outside the national education system is illegal.

Dr Kombra is appealing to parents not to send their children to attend the institution because the department does not recognize it.

NBC News


Albert brothers depart for Vikings "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Albert brothers, Wellington and Stanton flew out of the country yesterday for the United Kingdom for a two year rugby league contract with the Widnes Vikings club in the English Super League.

The Albert family was at the Jacksons International Airport earlier today to farewell the duo.

PNG Rugby Football League Chief Executive, Reatau Rau and his staff were also there to farewell the brothers.

"The Albert brothers have been together for the last four years after coming through our systems through the junior development programs all the way to the Digicel Cup and then Prime Minister's XIII and onto the Hunters and eventually went on to the Penrith Panthers for two years and then coming back to the Hunters for a full year last year, then the 2017 World Cup and here they are."

Wellington Albert is thankful to coach Michael Marum and the Hunters.

"When we came back we thought our rugby league careers were over but thank you to Michael Marum and PNGRL for believing in us and giving us the chance to play in the Hunters.

"We really appreciate that."

Stanton was signed up by the Vikings last Friday, replacing his late team mate Kato Ottio.

"Im honoured to represent my country and my team mates in the Hunters in the UK.

"Im feeling excited and looking forward to a new chapter."

NBC News - Paul Taumik Junior


Chow takes over Lae Rugby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Adrian Chow has been appointed the caretaker Administrator of the Lae Rugby League for this year.

Apart from this new role, Mr Chow also has duties as chairman of both the Lae Snax Tigers and the PNG National Rugby League.

Chow was appointed by the PNG Rugby Football League to oversee running of Lae, following allegations of fraud and mismanagement leveled against the former administration.

He's also vowed to improve management, administration and governance of rugby league in Lae.

NBC News - Sylvester Gawi (Lae)


The bad and good of Chinas aid in the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By Jonathan Pryke

The Pacific region is making headlines across Australia after Pacific and International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells harshly criticised Chinese aid in the region. 'Useless' is how Fierravanti-Wells has described Chinese aid projects, leading countries to take on debt they can't afford. While her concerns are legitimate, her blunt delivery hasn't been constructive and has led to some considerable political and diplomatic fallout.

So what's the real story? Is Chinese aid in the Pacific useless?

The answer is not so simple. China's aid programme is so opaque it is very difficult to understand exactly what it is doing. China does not conform to the sophisticated reporting and accountability mechanisms that traditional Western donors have developed over decades of aid delivery. According to some estimates, China announced more than US$350 billion in aid between 2000 and 2014 under a shroud of secrecy, leading to considerable anxiety about where, why and how Chinese aid is given.

This anxiety extends to the Pacific, where since 2006 China has rapidly expanded both its commercial ties and aid programme. The Lowy Institute has invested considerable time to better understand China's engagement. Our map of Chinese aid in the Pacific shows projects committed from 2006 to the middle of 2016. By scouring budget documents from countries across the Pacific, Chinese government websites, secondary sources such as conventional and social media, and conducting numerous interviews, we have compiled the most comprehensive picture of China's involvement in the region. It is not perfect, but it identifies and quantifies Chinese aid better than any other source.

Our research shows Chinese aid in the Pacific has grown substantially, with China committing more than US$1.7 billion in aid to eight Pacific Island countries (including Timor-Leste). To put this into context, total traditional aid to these countries over the same period was over US$9 billion, with aid from Australia making up almost two-thirds this amount.

An important distinction must be drawn between Chinese projects and traditional ones. China typically engages in large infrastructure projects by providing low interest, or 'concessional', loans that eventually have to be repaid. There is often scant information beyond an announcement, with no detail on the terms of these loans or repayment schedule. Australia and other traditional donors typically...


China scare shows Australia has dropped the ball in the Pacific "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A diplomatic row over Chinas growing influence over Pacific island nations has prompted calls for Australia and New Zealand to consider merging their economies with their smaller neighbours.

The suggestion follows reports Australian officials are concerned about Chinas growing presence in the Pacific.

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells last week accused China of building roads to nowhere and useless buildings in the Pacific through its concessional loans and aid programmes.

She said she was concerned some countries were taking on debts they could not afford to repay. Privately, officials told the ABC they were concerned that projects were being favoured to funnel money directly to the regions leaders.

Her criticisms have been blasted by both China and some Pacific nations themselves.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is set to invite Japanese defence forces to exercise in Darwin as a security alliance demonstration for Chinas benefit.

Graeme Dobell, journalist Fellow for the defence industry think tank Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told The New Daily the recent remarks by Senator Fierravanti-Wells highlighted the need for Australia and New Zealand to think seriously about integrating with all regional island economies.

It might take a bit of a China scare to get us to pay proper attention to the near neighbourhood we often overlook, Dobell said.

The China bogey does help Australia focus on the geopolitics on its doorstep.

The big new thought that Australia is starting to play with is to offer not just partnership to the South Pacific, but economic and security integration.

The proposal to integrate the islands with Australia and New Zealand is one of the ideas of the recent defence White Paper that hasnt got much attention. But its a biggy with long-term prospects.

Australia can offer but itll be up to the islands to commit.

The defence White Paper promised that Australia would be the regions principal security partner and Dobell said the integration policy recognised the need for a matching economic and social guarantee.

The island nations of Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu and New Caledonia have an estimated population of 2.3 million. Papua New Guinea...


Bishop weighs in on China aid row "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has gone into damage control over a diplomatic row concerning China's aid to Pacific Island nations.

International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells criticised China's assistance to tiny Pacific island nations for building "white elephant" projects and "roads to nowhere".

She also expressed concerns about the sustainability of China's loan arrangements with the island nations. Beijing has reacted angrily to the remarks, lodging an official protest with Australia's embassy in Beijing.

Bishop says the Australian government welcomes investment in developing nations in the Pacific that supports sustainable economic growth, and which does not impose onerous debt burdens on regional governments.

"Australia works with a wide range of development partners, including China, in pursuit of the goal of eliminating poverty in our region and globally," she said on Friday.

China media commentary from the Xinuhua news agency warned Australia should "refrain from behaving like an arrogant overlord".

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong has labelled as "clumsy" the government's approach to bilateral relations with China.

The Lowy Institute estimates China has poured $2.3 billion in aid to the South Pacific since 2006.

The Institute's Pacific Islands programme director Jonathan Pryke said the senator had made a legitimate point, but the value of projects had to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Australia's own track record on aid support for road projects on Pacific Islands is not perfect.

In 2012, Australian money was used to upgrade a dirt track on Tanna Island in Vanuatu, from the airport to a nearby resort, aimed at boosting tourism.

It used local materials such as coral and stones.

The AusAID Vanuatu spokesman Simon Cramp told Radio Australia at the time it was much cheaper to not seal the road with tar.

Tar sealing in Vanuatu was expensive at $200,000 per kilometre because of the need to import materials and high shipping costs.

The Australian-funded project trained scores of locals to do the work. However, within 12 months the gravel had washed away, a local businessman told AAP.

The Vanuatu government later asked the Chinese to help fix the road properly.

Hundreds of Chin...


What can Papua New Guinea business look forward to in 2018? "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

As Papua New Guinea business gets back to work, Andrew Wilkins looks at some of the issues coming up in 2018. With APEC coming to Port Moresby and a second LNG project in the offing, this is a year when PNG is going to be the subject of international attention.

APEC Haus under construction. Source: BAI

The economy

Based on new Treasurer Charles Abels 2018 National Budget, delivered in late 2017, this is going to be a year of constraint and compliance.

Constraint because the government has to live within its means in order to keep within mandated debt-to-GDP ratios; and compliance, because it needs to lift its revenue from direct and indirect taxation in order to avoid making further cuts to its programs.

Last January, we asked if 2017 was going to be the year that PNGs foreign exchange shortages came to an end. It was not, and 2018 looks like more of the same, although some days are going to be better than others for those seeking to convert their kina into dollars.

The big question will be to what extent the central bank and the government be active or passive (to use the IMFs parlance) in supporting the currency? A sovereign bond may be back on the agenda, we hear.

Businesses can expect to spend time in the foreign exchange queue.

Matters are unlikely to improve significantly until final investment decisions are made on some of PNGs promising resources projects (see below) and there is an end to the accelerated depreciation granted to investments in the PNG LNG project.

In the meantime, businesses can expect to spend time in the foreign exchange queue. Growth will be lowaround 2.4 per cent is predicted by Treasuryand inflation lower.

APEC 2018

This is PNGs year to host APEC for the first time, and important meetings will take place over the whole year, culminating in the big one...

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Tuesday, 16 January


Chatham has plans for new seabed mining consent "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Waitangi, the main town on the Chatham Islands.

Simon Hartley | Otago Daily Times | 16 January 2018

Would-be seabed miner Chatham Rock Phosphate says it is on track to resubmit a marine consent application to the Environmental Protection Authority, by the end of the year.

Since November, Chatham Rock has sought to recapitalise. A rights issue to existing shareholders raised $549,000 and it is in the the process of seeking a private placement, in stages, for up to a further $C1.2million ($NZ1.33million), chief executive Chris Castle said in a recent NZX update.

Chatham has held a mining licence since since December 2012, but the EPA turned down its first application in February 2015, after Chatham had spent about $33million on research, development and application costs.

Chatham wants to suction up 1.5million tonnes of phosphate nodules annual...


Youth in PNG: challenges to building a positive future "IndyWatch Feed"

Hip hop performances, rousing speeches, face painting and smiles created an energetic atmosphere at the International Youth Day Celebrations held in August in Port Moresby. The celebrations brought many organisations together to support the youth-led Sanap Wantaim, or Stand Together campaign, to end violence against women in the city. The vibrancy, ingenuity and intelligence of Papua New Guineas young people was on full display.

According to the CIA World Factbook, 54 per cent of Papua New Guineas population is 24 years old or younger. This youth bulge is a serious issue that threatens PNGs future development and stability. However, it presents exciting opportunities as well. These opportunities can and should be seized by the Pacific regional community.

The youth bulge in PNG (2016)

Source: Oaktree, from CIA World Factbook Data.

PNG is a deeply impoverished country. 89 per cent of the population lives in rural areas that are poorly serviced and difficult to access, and the economy is dominated by resource extraction. The states capacity to deliver health, education and infrastructure is weak, largely due to poor governance and decentralisation. Even though PNG is a vibrant and active democracy, the already-weak government is plagued by corruption and patronage politics. The youth bulge threatens to disrupt this, for better or worse.

Youth are marginalised across Papua New Guinea. With 800 different ethnic groups and the legacy of traditional social structures...


Those bloody early years were really not so bloody "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Highland war (Lorenzo Mattotti New Yorker)
Depiction of a New Guinea highlands tribal war by Lorenzo Mattotti (The New Yorker)


ADELAIDE - What constituted the "bloody early years" in Papua New Guinea was, in an historic context, not very bloody at all.

I realise that this will come as no comfort whatsoever to those whose relatives were shot and killed or injured by the early kiaps, but it is really important to keep things in perspective.

Imperialism in whatever form it arises is invariably a story of conquest and suppression. This has been true since time immemorial. It is what we humans do to one another in the pursuit of power, wealth and glory.

So, in Africa and South America, large scale killing and enslavement was common. Entire colonial armies ranged across the African landscape whenever the imperial power concerned deemed this necessary.

Similarly, in the USA, though they might wish to forget it, the so-called Indian Wars of the 19th century saw the US Army used to crush Indian uprisings and progressively remove them from their lands onto reservations. It was genocidal warfare, where repeated bad faith on the part of the US government led to conflict.

Closer to home, no-one knows for sure how many Aboriginal people were killed as the European settlers expanded into new territories but a figure of 20,000 is plausible. The main damage was done by disease though, which ran rampant through the Aboriginal people because they lacked any immunity to the new diseases that accompanied the settlers.

A dishonourable mention needs to be made of alcohol, cigarettes and bad diet, which always accompanied European imperialism. These factors are, arguably, still the most lethal legacy of the colonial era.

In PNG, there were certainly very violent incidents between the early kiaps and the people they encountered.

I have...


Memories of Togoba natural beauty & wise leadership "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Togoba looking across the Nebilyer Valley to the limestone cliffs
Togoba looking across the Nebilyer Valley to the limestone cliffs


DUBLIN - A recent article by Helen Davidson in Guardian Australia included a photograph of the beautiful landscape of the Togoba area in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

In the foreground one can see clearly the neat gardens with a variety of crops and kunai-roofed houses.

In the background are the grand limestone cliffs, and hidden in the middle distance is the Nebilyer River. In more recent times the area beyond the river is referred to simply as Hapwara.

If you stand at Togoba facing the limestone cliffs and shout loudly, you will hear an echo coming back strongly. The people of this area said this was a kur (spirit) answering back. In the local language it was known as Kur Wenwen.

Councillor Ugl El of Ulka Gonamp c 1971
Councillor Ugl El

If someone tells you they are from Togoba they are not referring to a specific village but to a large rural area at the centre of which is the junction where the Highlands Highway coming from Mt Hagen forks - one road going on through Lower Nebilyer to Ia...


How the RPNGC's rivalry impinged on astute kiap policing "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

John Stuntz with Otibanda detachment 1950
Kiap John Stuntz with Otibanda police detachment 1950


EX-KIAP WEBSITE - Some might see it as ironic that the form of award adopted for recognition of kiaps Papua New Guinea service should take the form of a Police Service Medal.

In my experience the relationship between the regular RPNGC officialdom and our field staff took the form of a rather wary collaboration at best. In many instances, personal relationships were warm and both organisations benefited.

I also acknowledge that during the late 1970s when tribal fighting became widespread in the Highlands, the cooperative bond between kiaps and police was strong, forged under the stresses of dealing with a major crisis.

And of course, the role that the outstation police contingents played in supporting all field staff was beyond praise. There are more than a few of us who owe their careers and perhaps their lives to the unstinting assistance and support of the outstation constabulary with whom they worked.

However the attitude of those at RPNGC headquarters was often a cause of concern and gave rise to the view that perhaps the police hierarchy were reluctant to accept that kiaps were competent to carry out police duties.

There are a few incidents that I can dredge up from my memory that could give rise to this view.

The decision in the 1960s by the Police Commissioner to ban all police involvement in the supervising of road construction activities. This came as a cruel blow to the energetic road construction program being implemented in the Highlands at this time.

Counter arguments that police involvement in civil projects was a long standing tradition in Papua New Guinea, were dismissed and prosecutions threatened if this edict was ignored.

About the same time when the time came for re-issue of warrant cards, we found that the replacement cards being issued by police headquarters allowed kiaps to exercise police powers only in the rural areas with township areas being excluded.

In this instance I believe it was our direc....


ExxonMobil Encounters Hydrocarbons Onshore Papua New Guinea "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Pnyang South-2 well confirms high-quality, hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs 
Evaluation of the resource is underway 
Builds on ExxonMobils exploration success in Papua New Guinea
IRVING, Texas ExxonMobil today announced that it encountered hydrocarbons after drilling the onshore Pnyang South-2 well, located in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

We are currently evaluating the well results and together with our co-venture partners will assess the Pnyang field resource potential and development pathway, said Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. We will work with the government of Papua New Guinea as we undertake this work.

The well was safely drilled to 8,940 feet (2,725 meters), reaching high-quality, hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs in the Toro and Digimu sandstones, consistent with pre-drilling expectations. The well confirms the southeast extension of the field.

When combined with our acquisition of InterOil Corporation, the increase in assessed reserves at Hides in the existing PNG LNG project and our recent Muruk discovery, this adds to our rapidly growing inventory of low cost of supply natural gas in Papua New Guinea, Mallon said. We are continuing with our active onshore and offshore exploration program in an effort to provide additional resources to expand existing and planned development projects.

Oil Search began drilling the Pnyang South-2 well on Oct. 22, 2017. The well is located in petroleum retention license 3, which covers 105,000 acres (425 square kilometers).

ExxonMobil affiliates operate the license with a 49 percent interest in the block. Affiliates of Oil Search, drilling operator, have a 38.5 percent interest and JX Nippon has 12.5 percent more on Pacific Mining Watch

Press Release


PNG's Forex problems stalling service delivery in North Fly "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Member for North Fly District, James Donald says the issue of foreign exchange is preventing service delivery in his electorate.

Mr Donald brought the issue to the attention of the prime minister, after his people continued to wait for two sets of rice mill and packing machines he's promised them since.

Mr Donald says his people will call him a con man soon because farmers have harvested their rice and there is still no mill.

He says Western Province is now beginning to grow rice.

Mr Donald explained that they had placed orders for the rice mills since the end of October last year and it is sad to see that the transaction is still sitting in queue for almost 8 weeks.

He called on the Prime Minister to admit that the government is not capable in fixing this issue.

He says everyone is feeling the reality of the struggles which he could not deny.

Mr Donald also called on the Minister for Treasury to act quickly in terms of the release of funds to carry out work in his district.

Mr Donald says its the duty of the Treasurer and the Prime Minister to talk to the Bank of PNG to ensure things are done, adding that funds have been deposited into the suppliers account but it has not been processed due to the FOREX issue.

NBC News - Jason Gima Wuri


PM ONeill: Enough of Self-Interest Time for All Leaders to Work Together in Southern Highlands Province "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Prime Minister and Member for Ialibu-Pangia,Peter ONeill  , has called for an end to individual interests undermining good governance in the Southern Highlands Province, and for all Leaders to work together for the people.

PM ONeill made the comments after attending the first Provincial Executive Council (PEC) meeting of Southern Highlands Province since the 2017 National Election, today in Mendi.

Following the swearing in of the Council, the Prime Minister commended the new Provincial Administrator and the Provincial Police Commander for advancing peace and stability.

After the election we saw displays of reckless self-interest by some individuals and this undermined stability in the Province, the Prime Minister said.

With the new Provincial Executive Council we will see positive change and development once again in Southern Highlands Province.

I call on all public servants to focus on the task of restoring service delivery, and to step-up efforts to deliver better education, health services and public infrastructure.

Individuals who continue to try and undermine good governance by acts of self-interest, with no regards for welfare of the province, will not be tolerated.

The people of this province are more important than individual interest, and we will ensure the welfare of the people is taken care of through the new Council.

The Prime Minister said there are better ways to solve differences than destroying public property in which so much has been invested to improve the livelihoods of the people.


O'Neill Government appoints Blacklock acting PNG Power boss "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Cabinet has sidelined acting PNG Power boss Alex Oa and appointed Carolyn Blacklock as the acting managing director with immediate effect.

Ms Blacklock officially took office yesterday and was welcomed by Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, PPL board chairman Andrew Ogil and team, and PPL management together with the Energy Workers Union.

Public Enterprises and State-owned Investments Minister William Duma is expected to officially announce Ms Blacklocks appointment and to welcome her into the Kumul Consolidated Holding circles and further give a rundown of her immediate tasks.

A Cabinet decision sighted by Post-Courier showed that on Tuesday, January 9, the National Executive Council made the appointment with effect from December 22 last year under the Kumul Consolidated Holdings Act 2002.

PNG Power Ltd has had a lot of issues to address during the past two years and this would now be addressed by Ms Blacklock.

Ms Blacklock has been the International Finance Corporation resident representative in PNG since 2010. Throughout the 1990s until 2010, she held senior positions in both Westpac and ANZ banks covering the Pacific-Asia region.

Ms Blacklock grew up in rural north Queensland and holds a Masters Degree in International Development from the Deakin University in Victoria, Australia.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector.

Press Release/Post Courier


PNG's Milne Bay eyeing long-stay tourists who spend more money "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Photo: Milney Bay  by : Kelly Cook
THE Milne Bay Tourism Bureau in Papua New Guinea will focus on developments which will target long-stay tourists, manager Sioni Sioni says.
He said two groups of tourists visited Milne Bay those who came on cruise ships and those generally termed long-stays.
Sioni said cruise ships only stopped for a day and contributed little economic activity.
On the other hand, the long-stays spend more money on tours, accommodation and souvenirs.
The bureau plans to create a data base to document the provinces tourism products.
Sioni said finding out information on the preferences of long-stay tourists would help the bureau develop new products and improve existing ones.
We need to be tracking the long-stay tourists. They spend money in our lodges and on transportation, he said.
And they promote us when they take pictures and upload them on the internet. These are high-value guests and we need find out more about them.
Alotau MP Charles Abel said the K63 million World Bank loan for tourism would be used for infrastructure development to improve the image of tourist hot-spots in the province.
He said facilities for cruise ships and the Gurney airport would be upgraded.
There are also plans to develop a mall in Alotau and to train youths to look after the maintenance of those facilities. The National / PNG Today


Fiji looks for foreign investors in tourism, agriculture, forestry, services and renewables "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Tourism is the mainstay of the Fiji economy, but policymakers want to broaden the countrys income sources. Fijis Consul-General and Trade Commissioner to Australia, Zarak Khan, says there are opportunities with business services, agriculture, forestry, textiles and renewable energy.

Zarak Khan, Fijis Trade Commissioner. Source: Fiji Trade Commission

Khan says about 60 per cent of foreign investment in Fiji over the last 10 years has gone into tourism, particularly hotels. But the government has identified other sectors where it hopes broad-based growth can be developed.

One of those is providing back office IT and call centre services. It is an area that has grown strongly over the last 14 years, says Khan.

The ANZ now has about 400 people working in Fiji servicing its Asia-Pacific market and they are looking to grow that, he says.

Other call centre companies include Mindpearl, a multi-lingual call centre with 1300 Fiji staff, and the debt-collection agency, Recoveriescorp, which has 400 Fiji staff.

Khan says research indicates that investing companies appreciate Fijians high literacy rate, neutral accent, and approach to talking to people.

More than 800,000 tourists came to Fiji in 2017.

When customers found out they were talking to a Fijian, they started talking about their last holiday to Fiji and what a great time they had. Its a perfect icebreaker.


Khan says over the past three years, more than F$1.3 billion (K2 billion) of investment has been earmarked for 269 projects.

Much of this went into the tourism sector. Khan estimates that more than 800,000 tourists came to Fiji in 2017, three fifths from Australia and New Zealand.

Chinese interest is growing fast. Khan notes that in 2016, some 40,000 tourists came from China, a ten-fold increase on 2013 levels.

We have 400 hotels in Fiji, a total of 11,000 rooms and 24,000 beds.

We have a number of charter flights from Shanghai and we have direct flights to Hong Kong five times a week, Sing...


In brief: Tuna fishing rebate changes favour on-shore processors, and other business stories "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

New fishing rebate scheme favours on-shore processors, coffee producer says poor roads in Western Highlands devalues coffee, and Lae laments loss of Alan McLay. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Trade Minister, Wera Mori, says a threat by foreign fishing firms to close their processing facilities, after the government ended the rebate on fishing fees, amounts to extortion.

The PNG government will introduce a new rebate scheme from February, replacing the  discounted fishing fees scheme, which Prime Minister Peter ONeill says has cost more than US$100 million (K330 million) annually. He said close to 80 per cent of fish caught by PNG-based fleets is processed in other countries. The new rebate scheme will be paid only for fish processed in PNG.


About half the value of coffee is lost in Western Highlands because of poor transport systems, says Nebilyer Coffees Managing Director, James Leahy. He told The National there was an urgent need for an effective road network to encourage farmers to produce more.


LCCI President, Alan McLay. Credit: The Loop

The Lae business community has lost an icon after the death of Alan McLay, President of the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1995, at the age of 73. Australian-born McLay had lived in PNG since 1960. He was passionate about business in Morobe, and was vocal about issues that affected or would affect the business community. He is survived by his wife Nellie and two children.


New Zealands dairy giant Fonterra has been invited to partner PNGs agriculture sector. Trade Minister, Wera Mori, said he will seek cabinet support of K1 billion to effect this invitation including supporting in...


New ports manager outlines its plan for Lae and Motukea Island "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A new player is now managing facilities at Papua New Guineas two major portsLae and Motukea Islandand it is aiming high. Business Advantage PNG meets Ted Muttiah, Director, Asia-Pacific, for ICTSI South Pacific, who has a concrete suggestion on how PNGs ports can help improve the countrys foreign exchange situation.

Motukea Island, the location of Port Moresbys new port. Credit: BAI

International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has been awarded 25-year concessions to manage the international arms of new facilities on Motukea Island near Port Moresby, and in the Lae Tidal Basin.

All international container and general purpose vessels cargo into and out of Motukea and Lae respectively will go through ICTSI South Pacific terminals, he tells  Business Advantage PNG.

It is our vision at ICTSI South Pacific to establish Lae Tidal Basin and Motukea as strategic international maritime gateways to/from the South Pacific.

ICTSI is located in 18 countries and operates 30 terminals. Muttiah believes the companys DNA is suited to operating in countries like PNG.

We do exceptionally well in the emerging markets, as reflected by the companys stevedoring portfolio.

Ship to shore



People moves: PNG Power, Commerce and Industry Department, Nautilus Minerals, Kina Securities "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A new acting Managing Director of PNG Power, a new Secretary for the Commerce and Industry Department, the Chairman of Nautilus Minerals resigns, Managing Director of Kina Securities retires

The PNG Cabinet has appointed former International Finance Corporation Resident Representative, Carolyn Blacklock, as acting Managing Director of PNG Power. She replaces acting CEO Alex Oa.


The PNG Cabinet has appointed Andrew Liliura as permanent Secretary for the Commerce and Industry Department. Acting Prime Minister Richard Maru says it is a four-year appointment.


The board of Nautilus Minerals has announced its Chairman, Russell Debney, has stepped down from the board.


The Managing Director of Kina Securities, Syd Yates, has officially retired, after 20 years of service. His successor is Greg Pawson.

The post People moves: PNG Power, Commerce and Industry Department, Nautilus Minerals, Kina Securities appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.


IMF report says Papua New Guinea Government taking initiative but challenges remain considerable "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A report on the state of the Papua New Guinea economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the National Government has taken some bold steps in its economic management. But it contends that the challenges are considerable and would be best managed with an active approach to macroeconomic management.

PNGs Gross official reserves and exchange rate. Source: IMF

The annual Article IV IMF report notes that economic activity in PNG was subdued in 2017, leading to a slowing of money growth and credit aggregates.

Private sector credit growth is projected to have grown by 4.2 per cent in 2017, compared with 7.2 per cent in 2016. The report says the non-performing loan ratio has remained at over 3 per cent.

Banks, however, are well-capitalised, and continue to hold excess liquidity; another indication of weak demand for loans.


On a positive note, inflation is projected to decline significantly in 2017-2018, the report says, as the effects of drought dissipate and the exchange rate remains stable.

According to the IMF, the Government fiscal deficit target was 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2016; instead, it widened to 4.6 per cent.

In 2017, the government targeted a narrowing of the deficit to 2.5 per cent of GDP, but as of mid-year, revenue shortfalls and expenditure over-runs threatened to keep the deficit little changed from 2016.

The combination of fiscal deficits and slow growth, the report says, has pushed the government debt-to-GDP ratio over the statutory limit of 30 per cent.

The capacity of the domestic financial sector to finance the deficit is over stretched, and external financing options are limited, so an important part of the budget deficit has been financed through central bank purchases of government securities and, to some extent, payments arrears. Without corrective...


Body of the missing Police Officer found "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The body of the policeman washed away by the flooded Tapo River in Madang, province has been found.

Late Officer Clement Vilau, aged 34 from Kokopo in East New Britain was found buried in mud and a pool of water along the Naru River on Saturday.

Vilau was in the company two other officers, the Task Force Commander of Madang, Senior Sergeant Willie Marita and Justin Baugen when the ten-seater vehicle they were traveling in got swept away by strong currents at Tapo in December.

Officer Baugen had survived the ordeal while Marita and Vilau succumbed to the raging river.

Madang police have been combing the Tapo, Naru and Gogol rivers for Vilau's body for exactly a month and one day before discovering Vilau.

Vilaus body is now being kept at the Modilon Hospital mortuary awaiting repatriation to East New Britain.

Meanwhile, Director Medical Services at Modilon General Hospital, Dr Vincent Atua has advised family members, colleagues and relatives against the idea of moving the body to a funeral home for some time.

Dr Atua says due to the appalling state of the body, they will not get the desired results, and advised on preparing the body for burial.

Acting Provincial Police Commander, Senior Inspector Jacob Bando could not be reached for comments.

The late Maritas body is still in the Funeral Home in Lae.

Both men will be repatriated to East New Britain.

NBC News - Anisah Issimel (Madang) Photo: The National


97 convicted in sorcery-related killing in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The National Court in Madang will sentence 97 men after they were found guilty of brutally killing seven people at Sakiko Village at Ramu Sugar in Madang province in 2014.

The seven deceased have been accused of sorcery.

Two of them are children ages three and five, and another is an elderly man who was burnt with his house.

The 97 men had initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, prompting a trial which resulted in their conviction.

This is the biggest criminal case, and is also believed to be one of the first convictions in a sorcery-related case.

Judge David Cannings will hand down their sentences next month.

Meantime in Central Province,

A police officer at Kwikila Station in Rigo District, is making a plea to district and provincial authorities to help him address accusations of sorcery leveled against him and his family.

Former Police Station Commander in Tapini, Sabila Ahono, told NBC News, he and his son are being accused of sorcery, over the death of the daughter of another police officer.

"They were accusing us, me and my son.

"They say my son was the one who took her around and eventually she died and me they've threatened to shoot me with gun and he said that I am responsible his daughter's death."

Mr Ahono claims that his call to the Police Station Commander, to call both parties together to help them reconcile fell on deaf ears, however, he's hopeful in a mediation scheduled for today.

"What I'm looking at now if I come tomorrow (today) and if we talk things over and if it goes rowdy, then anything can happen by tomorrow (today), either they take my life or (I take) one of their lives."

NBC News


Islands around Kadovar, Papua New Guinea evacuating amid fears of a new eruption of Bam volcano, P.N.G. "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

By The Watchers

The Governor of Papua New Guineas East Sepik province has ordered the evacuation of 5 000 people from islands of Ruprup (Blup Blup) and Biem (Bam) to the mainland, including those already evacuated from Kadovar. The decision was made due to a tsunami risk to the mainlands north coast and surrounding islands and fears of a possible new eruption at Biem island.

The Rabaul Volcano Observatory has refuted rumors circulating in local and international media that the volcano on Kadovars neighboring island of Biem, also known as Bam, has also started erupting. Reports of 12 km (7.4 miles) high plumes above Biem and Kadovar were probably thunderclouds, RVO said, as reported by Loop PNG.

Additionally, a number of islanders returning from Biem [on January 13]have reported no unusual activity apart from tremors, the Observatory said, adding that the tremors could have been from the Kadovar eruption and that a better picture of their location will emerge in the next couple of days.

Although there were uncertainties surrounding the eruption at Biem, authorities have indeed ordered the evacuation of the two remaining unevacuated islands.

Last night I dispatched the PNGDF landing craft to evacuate 1 700 evacuees at Ruprup island [Blup Blup]. At 1am, I was informed that Biem island volcano, as we feared, is now also becoming active. I have changed our engagement in the disaster. Biem is now our priority because there are more than 3 000 people on that island, Allan Bird, Governor of East Sepik Province said.

I have directed all efforts to Biem island as our top priority. I have also requested the use of the South Sea Tuna vessel to immediately steam to Ruprup island and begin evacuating our people there. We now have two volcanoes in the process of erupting concurrently. We are doing our best and deploying all our assets to this effort. I ask the entire nation to pray for mercy so that no life can be lost in this impending disaster and I thank everyone for their prayers. We are running out of fuel and we dont have enough boats. East Sepik Province needs your prayers, Bird said.



Mercury kit study work for small-scale miners "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

alluvial miners at work

Alluvial miners at work on Bougainville

ONE PNG  | 15 January 2018

A recent mercury research study conducted at the small scale mining branch in Wau, Morobe Province is a collaborative work between the mining engineering department of Papua New Guineas University of Technology, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) through its small scale mining branch and the University of Kyoto-Japan through the leadership of Professor Takaiku Yamamoto, has released its findings.

The use of mercury has become very popular among artisanal and small scale miners because amalgamation is known to efficiently extract fine particles of gold from concentrates obtained by panning and sluicing operations. Gold alloys with mercury to form an amalgam from which the gold can subsequently be separated by evaporating the mercury.

The simplicity of the technique, low investment costs and its comparatively high gold recovery rate has made the mercury amalgam method an integral part of the artisanal and small scale gold mining operations.


Monday, 15 January


Mining exploration in Bougainville led by LOs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | January 15, 2018

Landowners in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are partnering with investors to conduct mineral exploration in areas sanctioned by the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Prospecting has started since the introduction of legislation allowing landowners complete ownership of customary land, and the lifting of the moratorium on specific localities for mineral exploration.

However, the ABG is making sure the exploration is done in the best interest of the people.

ABG Treasury and Finance Minister, Robin Wilson, said currently there is a moratorium on Panguna Mine due to its history and sensitive nature, which is being carefully addressed.

However, exploration has been allowed in other parts of the island.

So far we have lifted the moratorium on three areas in Bougainville. Thats Mt Ore, Isina in Central Bougainville and the Arawa-Panguna area, said the Minister.



Islands around Kadovar evacuating amid fears of a new eruption of Bam volcano, P.N.G. "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's East Sepik province has ordered the evacuation of 5 000 people from islands of Ruprup (Blup Blup) and Biem (Bam) to the mainland, including those already evacuated from Kadovar. The decision was made due to a tsunami risk to...... Read more


Labor for Aid: how much will it cost? "IndyWatch Feed"

A new campaign seeks to write a positive aid policy into the Australian Labor Party (ALP) national party platform. Labor for Aid has three demands that it is trying to get into the ALP National Platform at the 2018 National Conference. To quote:

  1. Commit to the principle that we should be moving towards 0.7% of our Gross National Income (GNI) on aid (the UN target that the UK has already reached).
  2. Increase aid as a percentage of GNI every year that we are in office, starting with our first budget.
  3. Make advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, including reducing global poverty, the core purpose of the aid program.

Putting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of the aid program will not make much of a difference. They are so wide-ranging that taking them seriously has few, if any, policy implications. Perhaps there would be less emphasis on the national interest and on economic diplomacy if advancing the SDGs was the core purpose of the aid program, but most things financed by aid can be justified on various grounds.

The first two demands are more significant. They both the first implicitly and the second explicitly have the same implication: that the aid/Gross National Income (GNI) ratio would rise under Labor, year on year. How much would that cost? How much is required to see positive movement in the aid/GNI ratio?

This ratio is normally measured to two decimal places. Aid is currently at exactly 0.22% of GNI. In 2018-19 it is expected to fall to 0.218% (or 0.22% rounded) and 2019-20 0.208% (0.21% rounded). The next election is due by mid-2019. There is a lot of speculation that the next election will be held early, possibly this year. The Labor for Aid commitment requires action from the first budget, which would be 2019-20 in the case of an early election. To implement the Labor for Aid policy, a Labor government would have to increase aid to 0.225% of GNI in 2019-20 (so that the ratio, when rounded, would increase to 0.23%), and then it would have to increase the ratio by 0.01 percentage points every year.

Budget costings seem to be calculated for the election year and the following three years, so I assume the costing would be for 2018-19 to 2021-22. Costs are calculated relative to what is in the 2018-19 budget and its forward estimates. The cost in 2018-19 is nothing, as increases only start in 2019-20. I take the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) and GNI figures and budget fo...


The bloody early years of outside engagement with the Simbu "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Gende-Jim Taylor arrives in the highlands
No 1 Kiap blong Australia Mr Jim Taylor i brukim bush long Highlands Papua Niugini (The first Australian kiap, Mr Jim Taylor, on an exploratory mission in the PNG highlands), Simon Gende, 1999


MORISSET - There remains a long-standing dispute about the number of local people slain in the first explorations into the highlands by white expeditions, but no account denies that some dozens were killed.

There are many accounts from the point of view of those early expatriate pioneers; but I have gathered from existing records some first-hand accounts by Simbu people.

When the kiaps and policeman came they did shoot people and animals and I saw them, said Mondo Ola of Ombondo in the Simbu Valley. They shot one of our leaders by the name of Kapaki Degba Mondia and from my clan they shot a man named Waugla Sungwa (interview by Paul San).

The first kiaps were so rough that the natives were very scared of them and they never came close to hear what they were saying, recalled Mrs Nukama of Womai village. The first kiaps did their best to tame them by showing them axes and salt.

Some of the villagers tried to steal the things which the white men showed them so that's how the shooting starts. There were about five people killed at that time (interview of women from eastern Simbu by Moro, 1985).

A man named Dage described an incident that may have occurred on 19 August 1933: We brought food and got girigiri, salt and beads. Then we heard some were coming from Hagan. Some said they would kill them and take their cargo and their women tied up in tents. They were going to attack Jim Taylor.

People of Siku, Kamanegu and Dage put on grass, black paint and took spears. Taylor shot three of Dage Duglkane blew off their heads. We were afraid; didn't know about guns. This was down at the Kerowagi bridge where a Siku had a garden and was shot and killed (interviewed by Paula Brown, 1987).

And at Kunabau in August 1933: They shot a lot up because a bush knife was stolen...


Thousands Evacuated After Papua New Guinea Volcano Erupts "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

At a Glance

  • Thousands were evacuated from Papua New Guinea islands after the volcano on Kadovar Island erupted.
  • Officials have expressed fears of possible tsunamis and landslides triggered by the eruption.

Thousands have been evacuated from islands in Papua New Guinea after a volcano began erupting over the weekend.

Around 1,500 residents of Kadovar Island were forced to flee when the peak, which was long dormant, exploded after spending several days venting ash, Reuters reports. Officials moved evacuees to the nearby island of Blup Blup, which was later evacuated. People were then sent to the mainland.


Governor appeals for boats & fuel as second Sepik volcano fires up "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kadovar Island in eruption
Kadovar Island in eruption


NOOSA - The population of a second volcanic island in Papua New Guinea's Schouten Group is being evacuated as another volcano erupts.

But East Sepik Governor Allan Bird says his province is running out of fuel and does not have enough boats to manage the evacuation.

"At 1am I was informed that Biem island volcano, as we feared, is now also becoming active. Biem [also known as Bam] is now our priority because there are more than 3,000 people on that island, he said.

Some 1,500 people on nearby Kadovar Island had been moved to nearby Ruprup Island but these people must be moved again as Ruprup is also at risk from the surrounding volcanic activity which is intensifying.

I have requested the use of the South Sea Tuna vessel to immediately steam to Ruprup island and begin evacuating our people there, Governor Bird said.

We now have two volcanoes erupting concurrently. We are doing our best and deploying all our assets to this effort. I ask the entire nation to pray for mercy so that no life can be lost in this impending disaster and I thank everyone for their prayers.

We are running out of fuel and we don't have enough boats."

The Kadovar island volcano began emitting smoke and ash last week, prompting the evacuation of more than 500 people. But as eruptions became more violent, those who fled Kadovar had to be taken to the mainland.

Volcanologists said there are no confirmed records of a previous large-scale eruption on Kadovar.



Benjamin Fulford Report (Excerpt): "Tensions Rise Between Bloodlines" -- January 15, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Weekly Geo-political News and Analysis

Tensions rise between bloodlines and Illuminati as final showdown looms for U.S. corporate government

By Benjamin Fulford, White Dragon Society

Global tensions are rising visibly, as the petrodollar-funded U.S. corporate government faces a January 18th start of gold-backed yuan-denominated oil trading, even while its still-unfunded January 31st payment deadline looms.

One sign of this extreme tension came last week when a missile from a cabal submarine was stopped from hitting Hawaii and the submarine was sunk, Pentagon sources say. Media outlets around the world have reported that Hawaiian residents all received the following warning on their mobile phones: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII, SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, but later this was reported to be a false alarm. It was notit was an attempt by the cabal to blame the attack on North Korea and use it as a trigger for their long-desired World War III, CIA sources say.

The attack was followed by an increase in earthquakes and volcanic activity which may be an attack on potential submarine bases in Chile, Peru, Papua, New Guinea, or underwater, the Pentagon sources continue. U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency official Paul Laine has previously told this writer that numerous underwater bases exist. These bases now appear to be under systematic attack.

Meanwhile, as this report was being written, a person claiming to be His Excellency His Royal Highness (H.E. HRH) Ernest Rauthschild, Royal Prime Minister of The United States of North America contacted this writer to claim, The Federal U.S./USA comes under the USNA. He went on to state that the galactics were now arriving to enforce his claim. He provided extensive documentation to back his claims, to which we have linked below w...

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