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

Thursday, 14 September

22:00

What can Australia do to help with elections in PNG? "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

For decades Australia has been at the centre of international efforts to improve elections in Papua New Guinea. Australia has spent almost US$60 million since 2002. Despite this, the 2017 elections were blighted by a frightening pack of problems. Given PNGs electoral woes it is tempting to conclude aid hasnt helped. Tempting, but mistaken. Elections may not be good in PNG but good is not the right yardstick for aid success in this area. The appropriate yardstick is vis--vis a counterfactual of no international help. As I described in my first post, Papua New Guineas domestic political economy produces forces that are at odds with well-run elections. As I discuss in this paper, international engagement has served as a countervailing force against these. Because of this, it is very likely that elections in PNG would be worse still without Australian involvement.

This doesnt mean that Australian efforts cant be improved though. Here are some suggestions. Because this is a blog post they are, by necessity, broad. I hope many others will offer a lot more in coming months; for now, treat these ideas as a start.

First up, recognise the road to the next elections starts today. Improving them will be an ongoing effort. It will require engagement, pressure and assistance, every year from now to 2022. The chart below shows my estimates of Australian aid spending devoted to elections in PNG since 2002 (data and sources here). As you can see, the post-2012 effort was inconsistent and less than previous elections. This isnt the aid programs fault. In between aid cuts and the death of AusAID, it was a tumultuous time. Even so, theres still a lesson from 2017: improving elections requires substantial, sustained engagement. It requires staff devoted to the task and it requires the steady accumulation of contextual knowledge.

Estimated Australian aid for elections 2002-2017

...

21:00

We are being softened up for the re-opening of Panguna mine "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Derelict
Panguna mine - now back in play

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - There is a lot happening in central Bougainville around the now derelict Panguna mine.

Two local groups, with external financial backing, are engaged in awareness programs - campaigning if you like - for re-opening the mine that operated for about 20 years until hostilities closed it in 1989.

Thence followed the loss of some 10-15,000 Bougainvillean lives and millions and millions of kina worth of damage to assets and property.

Both of these groups on the make are yet to explain to us who suffered directly in the 10 year civil war how this awareness or campaigning for the re-opening of the mine will affect us and what our role may be.

The English word awareness (Concise Oxford 11th Edition) is defined as having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact while campaign has two meanings: the military definition which Ill ignore and the other an organised course of action to achieve a goal.

Last Monday I sent a text message to Bougainville Copper Ltd manager Justin Rogers, who was about to board a plane from Buka to Port Moresby. The missive was about mine-related activities in Central Bougainville, especially about the mine re-opening which is being pushed aggressively by the leaders of both the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the Panguna New Generation Leaders (PNGL).

Mr Rogers reply said: The issue at the moment is interests in mineral rights. Our interest is to start a project to see if mining is viable. There is no mine until someone proves it is commercially and technically [viable].

This communication shed some light that the current campaign to re-open the mine is a home-grown strategy devised by economically and financially uncreative leaders; a leadership that is not oriented to nation-building but blinded by a characteristic Third World dependency syndrome.

That is why the current themes being pushed down the throats of our poor people are, no mining, no referendum and no mining, no independence.

It is clear to me that both the ABG and PN......

20:00

The West Papua dilemma: Rockefeller and the demise of Ibu Pertiwi "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Rockefeller And The Demise Of Ibu PertiwiKERRY B COLLISON

Kerry Collison is an author and Asia desk foreign correspondent for Washingtons Defence and Strategic Affairs. You can find out more about his books here. Kerry's latest book Rockefeller and the Demise of Ibu Pertiwi will soon be available in hard copy and as an ebook

IT WAS towards the end of my tour at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta when, in 1969, West Papua became the twenty-sixth province of Indonesia after the so-called Act of Free Choice sponsored by the UN saw the transfer of official administration from the Netherlands to Indonesia.

I have found in my travels that few understand the history of West Papua, and concerned with the growing number of nations voicing their support for the United Nations to revisit the flawed plebiscite, I decided to write this story, part-fact, mostly fiction, in an attempt to offer an insight into a scenario that could bring Australia and Indonesia into conflict.

Jakarta should indeed be concerned that they could eventually lose the resource-rich territory an event that could drag Australia into conflict with its restive neighbour.

Over the five decades that Indonesia has held official control of West Papua, the indigenous population has endured a repressive and unjust system of Javanese-colonial occupation. Based on reports filed by church organizations, missionaries and West Papuan diaspora, Indonesian security forces continue to commit gross human rights abuses against the indigenous population with estimates of civilians killed reaching half a million since occupation commenced.

There has always been a deeply-felt sense of kinship and common heritage amongst the Melanesian Spearhead Group of nations towards West Papua. Vanuatu has always been a place of refuge for West Papuan dissidents and independence activists.

Indonesia has been aware of this support within the Vanuatu body politic for many years, and has recently sought to counter it. This open diplomatic confrontation was evidence that Indonesias diplomatic offensive over West Papua was well underway.

The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) came into being on July 17, 1986 as a result of an informal meeting of Heads of Government of Papua New...

15:55

Samsung wont partner with Korindo following outrage over forest destruction in Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Samsung will stay away from any joint venture with a Korean-Indonesian conglomerate, Korindo, amid an NGO campaign highlighting Korindos rainforest destruction for palm oil in Indonesias Tanah Papua region. Samsungs announcement that it would partner with Korindo in the logistics sector had been widely reported in the Korean media. The joint venture was not directly related to Korindos palm oil operation, for which it has burned and cleared vast tracts of forestland in Papua and elsewhere to make way for its plantations, NGO Mighty Earth has exposed. Mighty has continued to pressure Korindo, most recently targeting its business partners in other sectors. Mighty and consumer group SumOfUs launched an online petition calling on Samsung to cut ties with Korindo, and it amassed more than 73,000 signatures, including 15,000 from users of Samsung phones. The petition was hand-delivered to Samsungs main office in Seoul, ahead of the companys launch of its new Galaxy Note 8 phone last month. That was part of a week of action surrounding the Galaxy Note 8s launch in which over 2,000 Samsung customers sent emails to the electronics giant from their Samsung devices. Over 10,000 people took action online, and nearly 1 million people viewed online ads about Samsungs connection to rainforest destruction, according to Mighty. I own two of your TVs and recently switched my Galaxy back to Apple because of your Korindo involvement, said one of the many personalized emails to Samsung. As long as you continue to have an environmentally irresponsible ethos I will

11:27

Apia confrontation highlights sensitivity over West Papua "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/339413/apia-confrontation-highlights-sensitivity-over-west-papua

eight_col_West_Papua_independence_movement_protest_campaign_in_Samoa.JPG?1504645005 Apia confrontation highlights sensitivity over West Papua
www.radionz.co.nz
A confrontation between media and Indonesian officials in Samoa last week has highlighted the depth of regional feelings about West Papua.

1) Apia confrontation highlights sensitivity over West Papua
4:49 pm today
Sela Jane Hopgood, Journalist
A confrontation between media and Indonesian officials in Samoa last week has highlighted the depth of feelings in the region about West Papua.
Pacific Islanders are increasingly speaking out over their concern about reports of human rights abuses in Indonesias Papua region, and the cause of West Papuan self-determination aspirations.
A protest supporting West Papuas independence was staged during the summit outside the Forums venue in Samoas capital Apia, which upset Jakarta.

Following the protest, Indonesia government representatives held a press conference. One of the representatives, Franzalbert Joku, told reporters in a rowdy exchange that the Forum summit was not the place for the Papua issue to be discussed. The sound of raised voices briefly drew local police to the venue of the press conference.
The co-ordinator of the Samoa First union who had organised the protest, Jerome Mika, later said he disagreed with Mr Jokus comments.
"The theme of the whole Pacific Leaders Forum was about looking at leadership and being able to find ways to be able to help and prosper our Pacific region." he said.
"I think its appropriate for us to be dealing with issues of West Papua at the Forum. Samoas independence was in 1962 and West Papuas been colonised since the 1960s.
Its important...

07:05

Mens cricket squad gearing up for next years tour of England "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

AUSTRALIAS most promising Indigenous male cricketers have just completed an exhausting series of matches in Brisbane and the Queensland Sunshine Coast. The national Indigenous mens squad played matches over eight rounds, playing against Queensland, Papua New Guinea, Victoria and the national performance squad. Missing from the Indigenous squad was international Dan Christian. He has been busy overseas, first helping Notts win the NatWest T20 final in England, and then being drafted by the Tinbago Knight Riders, who won the Carribean Premier League (CPL). Christian next year will lead an Indigenous Australian team on a tour of England to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 Aboriginal team that became the first sporting team from Australia to tour internationally.

06:40

Are Journalists Safe in Indonesia? "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Internet_Indonesia

By Yerry Borang and Egbert Wits

Earlier in 2017, in collaboration with Citizen Lab, we spoke to journalists from Papua, Aceh, and Central Java in an effort to find out the current situation regarding the safety of journalists there. In total, 16 journalists were interviewed, with a focus on digital security and how journalists (safely) use technology. Besides Indonesia, this research was also conducted in the Philippines.

Although theres a growing number of websites that can help you work more safely, a larger narrative discussing the pros and cons of digital security for journalists and the digital security challenges they face in todays fast-paced, instant deadline world is missing. We hope that sharing the outcomes from our research in Indonesia can help contribute to this discussion. Lets start by looking at journalistic education.

Journalistic Education

10 out of the 16 interviewed journalists have received journalistic education. While physical safety in the field was given ample attention in their curriculum, information on digital security was completely absent. "There was no attention on digital security during my journalistic education" (Jakarta no.2). When looking into journalistic education at several Indonesian universities in Java [1] today, we found that none of the institutions have an introduction to digital safety or security for journalists. On the job training perhaps? That was also not the case. None of our interviewed journalists employers had offered an extra training on security or safety issues. Existing knowledge on digital safety is minimal and comes mostly from peer sharing among journalists. A general rule of thumb we discovered from the Indonesian journalists is that they start learning or searching for information after they felt threatened, abused or were otherwise negatively impacted as a result of their journalistic practice.

The lack of training on online and offline safety is an alarming fact given that the safety of journalists in Indonesia is precarious, to say the least. Human Rights Watch reports [2] that violence against journalists in Indonesia is on the rise. The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), an Indonesian non-governmental union, reported that there were 78 incidents of violent attacks on journalists in 2016 [3], including those by security forces. A stark increase compared with 42 in 2015, and 40 i...

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Wednesday, 13 September

22:29

Australian Aborigines Carry DNA of Unknown Human Species "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Australian aborigines carry the DNA of an unknown human species

By Ivan

New research has revealed fascinating details about Aboriginal Australians and Pacific Islanders, who according to experts, carry genetic material of an unknown human species.

The new research suggests people from Papua New Guinea and northeast Australia have traces of DNA belonging to an unidentified, extinct human species.

Apparently, there is still much that geneticists and scientists do not understand about this crucial moment in human history, and it seems that research on the subject is raising more questions than answers.

In 2016, researchers at Harvard Medical School published the findings of a comprehensive study of the human genome of all areas of the world and discovered something astounding about the Australian aboriginal population.

They appear to have genetic markers that indicate they are descendants of a yet unidentified human species.

Were missing a population, or were misunderstanding something about the relationships, Ryan Bohlender, a statistical geneticist at the University of Texas, told Tina Hesman Saey at Science News.

Bohlender and his colleagues have been researching the amount of extinct hominid DNA that modern humans still carry today. To the surprise of many, they say theyve found discrepancies in previous studies that suggest our mingling with Neanderthals and Denisovans isnt the entire evolutionary story.



Who this unknown group is we dont know.

Its believed that between 100,000 and 60,000 years ago, our ancestors migrated out of Africa...

22:00

A wrap up of the 48th Pacific Island Forum Leaders meeting "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Last week the 48th Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting was held in Apia, Samoa. The meetings theme, the Blue Pacific, was unsurprising given this years focus on oceans. But it was interesting nonetheless, given the increasing use of terms like the blue economy (PIDF) or blue Pacific (PIFS) to define Pacific regionalism much as the Pacific Way was used in the past.

This year was the first since the establishment of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism not to include a process through which the public are invited to make submissions on what leaders should discuss. That process, which sees proposals assessed by a Specialist Sub Committee on Regionalism (the SSCR), was never intended to occur every year. Its absence this year might therefore be explained in terms of needing to take stock of issues raised previously. Except, many issues identified through the process previously, and which we would expect to see followed up, have seemingly been set aside. They are cervical cancer, ICT, and improved business processes for the private sector.

Another likely explanation for the absence of a public submission process is political. The public consultation process in previous years has raised contentious issues time and time again. Last year, 13 of 48 submissions concerned West Papua much to the dissatisfaction of the Australian, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinean governments. This year, in contrast, discussion of West Papua was limited to one un-critical line in the Forum Communiqu.

Climate change was still prominent, but in terms agreeable to all. Well, almost all. The Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, vented his frustration after the Forum both at its failure to endorse Tuvalus proposal for climate change insurance, and at its focus on issues not directly relevant to the Forum members, such as North Korea: The Forum is supposed to discuss issues from its members and small island states Why should they come to a Forum that only supports political wishes of the big countries?

Notwithstanding this outburst, the Forum Leaders meeting this year did f...

21:00

And the winner is. strong response to Blues Brothers contest "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Blues Brothers - Turnbull & O'NeillKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA Our first caption competition saw more than 50 enthusiastic readers produce some hilarious entries to represent what Malcolm Turnbull and Peter ONeill might have been saying when this photo was taken at the recent Pacific island leaders meeting.

So let me take you through what I considered to be some of the cleverer and more humorous entries before coming to the grand champion (and a note about the next contest).

Lisa Kune was right up to date with this imagined exchange:

Turnbull: How's your government stability these days?
ONeill: At least my opposition can be bought.

And Kasek Galgal showed a close knowledge of Australian politics:

ONeill: I'm telling you Mal, I won fair and square.
Malcolm: Stop. You sound like Barnaby when they found his Kiwi passport.

Perhaps I shouldnt have been surprised, but there was a disproportionate number of entries in the fart jokes genre.

Kathryn Smith:

ONeill: "Did you just fluff?'
Turnbull: "One of us did."

Paul Oates:

ONeill: Did you smell a fart?

Ross Wilkinson:

ONeill: Did you just fart?
Turnbull: No.
ONeill Mustve been me.

Sangiuwe (name supplied):

Turnbull (thinks): Touch me and Ill fart on you.

Says something about our readers, I fear.

David Thomas came up with a clever exchange:

ONeill: Is that invitation to stay at the Lodge still open?
Turnbull: Mmff....
ONeill: Mind if I bring some wantoks?

And, as you might expect, politics loomed large in peoples imaginations.

Sebastian Kolotau offered this one:

ONeill: I tried clever election tricks but we were almost caught.
Turnbull: Its been playing on my nerves; dont try it again.

While Adrian Rook came up with a brisk one-liner:

...

20:42

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

130917BOUGAINVILLE SET TO COMMEMORATE PNG INDEPENDENCE
By Aloysius Laukai

Bougainville will join the rest of Papua New Guinea to commemorate the 42nd Independence starting tomorrow in Buka.
According to the program, Buka celebrations will be held at the ISA Beach front in Buka town. The three-days program will have awareness on Alcohol and Drugs, Law and Order, Referendum, Tourism, Violence against women and Womens equal rights.
The main Independence speeches will be held on Friday the 15th of September but celebrations will continue till Saturday the 16th September 2017.
Ends

20:35

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Picture of the House burnt...taken in 2015
By Aloysius Laukai

20150519_153251

20:30

NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

100917BOUGAINVILLES WHOLESALER SUFFERS THROUGH A FIRE
By Aloysius Laukai
Bougainvilles big wholesaler and distributor and local company JOMIK Trading lost its ware house and office in a fire that gutted two of its buildings and other two nearby buildings last Saturday evening the 9th of September 2017 in Buka towns Back Street.
The fire started at about 7pm in the evening and by 9pm two of Jomiks buildings were fully alight and there was nothing that the company workers and neighbours could do without a fire service in Buka town.
The other two houses were a building owned by former Police Officer, PETER MASIKE who built this house as his retirement home and was rented to Island TV and Maino Trading a local trader who had just taken that building and fully packed with cargoes to be opened on Monday the eleventh of September.
According to eye witnesses, fire started from the former plant hire office and spread very quickly spread to its big steel building warehouse just opened in 2015 and built by a Philippine company.
The building where the fire started was built at around 2009 and was built so close to the Peter Masike building which was where New Dawn FM a local Community Radio started its operating in 2008. That building was built at around the late 1990s and was used first by LIMA Trading as a wholesaler and taken over by Tambolema Trading in 2002, when Lima Trading left Buka to operate in Buin, South Bougainville.
Tambolema Trading and New Dawn FM moved out of the MASIKE building in January,2010 after operating there for eight years.
According to PETER MASIKE this was his only investment and could not believe what had happened as it happened very quickly and he could not do anything to save his building. The could have burnt other buildings if some courage volunteers did not stood up and made sure the fire did not spread to other nearby buildings. In this particular area and within most of Buka town the buildings were built very close to each other.
The Buka Town Manager, EDDIE KENAI told news reporters that the ABG is to be blamed for what has happened because it does not have a Physical planning Board and a building board and also has not established a Fire Service in Buka although a MOU with the PNG FIRE SERVICE was signed some years back.
And just last week New Dawn FM talked to fire service staff who carried out a survey on the risk of a fire for the Buka town and surrounding suburbs of Kokopau, Sohano, Kubu and Hutjena.
They said from a table between 0 and Ten, Buka town was at Ten as a risky area in terms of a fire risk area.
Town Manager called on the ABG to quickly set up the Physical Planning board to make sure buildings are approved for standard and quality and also looking at the space between buildings.
He said that because of the non-availability of these institutions people are buildin...

20:00

Ex-kiap & former Queensland MP Bruce Laming dies at 79 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Bruce Laming & wife Estelle after a successful early political campaignBILL HOFFMAN | Sunshine Coast Daily | Edited extracts

MAROOCHYDORE - Bruce Laming launched his career in public life at 42 off the back of a kaleidoscope of life experiences, including service as a kiap in Bougainville and the Papua New Guinea highlands.

Mr Laming would eventually play a role in the shaping of some key players in conservative politics in Queensland.

By the time he passed away on Monday after a long battle with dementia, former MP for Mooloolah and Landsborough Shire councillor, Bruce Laming, had not only established his own legacy but had helped nurture those of his son Andrew, the Federal Member for Bowman, and many prominent Queensland politicians.

"It's a very sad day," said Liberal Senator Mr Wallace. "The LNP has lost a great trooper. He was one of life's gentlemen."

Former Queensland deputy premier Joan Sheldon said Mr Laming had been a fine man who had served his party loyally and had done a wonderful job for his constituents.

Former Queensland attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie recalled a man he described as a statesman of the LNP. He said the Laming home had been a great venue for young LNP members to meet.

"He was a real influence on us and up until recently attended functions and offered support," Mr Bleijie said.

Mr Laming arrived on the Sunshine Coast in the early 1970s following a career that ranged from the Snowy Mountain scheme, the Mount Isa mines, wool-classing in Tasmania and four years patrolling in Bougainville and the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

He and his wife Estelle built a waterfront home in Kawana in 1975 and went on to raise three children.

...

06:44

Papua New Guinea Investment Conference a resounding success "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference was held last week in Sydney, successfully showcasing the nations potential as an investment destination and canvassing different views from the business community about the opportunities and challenges. A clear picture of the countrysand the Pacific regionsgreat untapped potential emerged.

Futurist Mark Pesce addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

The conference, held at Sydneys Shangri-la Hotel, opened with an insightful perspective from futurist Mark Pesce, who explored the possibilities of twenty-first century technologyespecially mobile phone and blockchain technology, drones and roboticsfor PNGs long-term economic future.

He described how PNG could use these technologies to leapfrog the industrial era and move effectively into the post-industrial world. In particular, he explored a possible convergence between banking and telecommunications, based on the use of mobile phones.

Pesces keynote really set the tone for the conference. Not only did he take a long-term viewwhich all investors must dobut he identified clear trends that, if pursued, could benefit PNG in particular, observed MC Andrew Wilkins of conference organisers Business Advantage International.

What is encouraging is that work is already underway in PNG in several of these areas. The central bank is actively looking at Blockchain, Oil Search is already using drones to inspect its pipelines, while the near-completion of the National Transmission Network, and a likely new underseas cable connecting PNG to the world wide web are signs of progress in connectivity.

Focus on growth sectors

...

06:32

Madagascar Farmers Confront Canadian Junior Mining Company "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The owner of this land asked DNI not to use his land but the company ignored his request and has continued to exploit his property.

Mine Watch Canada | 12 September, 2017

Farmers from Vohitsara in eastern Madagascar are demanding that DNI Metals Inc. cease operations on their land and compensate them for damage to their lands, crops, trees, and fish ponds that the company has acknowledged destroying without their consent and fair compensation.

Malagasy civil society organisations and media reports have confirmed that DNI Metals has undertaken drilling and trenching on the villagers land in some cases without their agreement, while other farmers have signed agreements that provide vague and inadequate commitments from the company and do not meet basic standards of fairness.

The company had begun to undertake an inventory of damages jointly with Vohitsara villagers in July, but it was never completed. The company had previously done its own inventory, without the presence of the la...

06:26

Maru says Papua New Guinea must aim at import replacement in agriculture "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

In an exclusive interview, Richard Maru, the new Minister for National Planning and Monitoring tells Business Advantage PNG that replacing food imports with domestic production is a priority for the new ONeill Government. State-owned investment vehicle Kumul Agriculture looks set to play a key role.

Minister Maru addressing the 2017 PNG investment Conference in Sydney

The intent to create a state-owned investment vehicle for agriculture was first flagged in 2015. Maru says the entity will soon start to receive funds to invest in the sector.

We will be parking equity funds in our own agricultural investment company to partner [with] local and international investors, he tells Business Advantage PNG at the Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney last week.

Maru says the state-owned enterprise, Kumul Agriculture, will hold all the states equity investments in commercial agriculture.

This is something we have not done in the past. We will be parking investment funds, starting this year through the Supplementary Budget.

Imports

The motivation is primarily to reduce PNGs reliance on food imports.

Maru says that each year PNG imports K34 billion in food that it could produce itself. The biggest item is rice, followed by dairy products from New Zealand and chicken feed from Australia.

Both human and animal feed is a big issue for us, he says. We have very fertile land: great agronomic conditions, good weather and we dont have too many pests.

The focus will be on serving the PNG domestic market.

All the conditions lend themselves to agricultureunlike countries like Israel, where you have basically a desert.

We have water and very fertile land. What we have to do now is to mobilise the land and then find investors who have the technology and the capital to partner us to start investi...

06:19

Governor of Bank of PNG tells conference higher food production critical "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Diversification of the Papua New Guinea economy is critical to maintaining economic growth, according to Loi Bakani, the Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea. He told Business Advantage Internationals Papua New Guinea Investment Conference in Sydney that a particular area of concern is the high level of food imports.

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani addresses the 2017 Papua New Guinea Investment Conference

Bakani said the PNG LNG project, from 2010-2014, created a structural change in the PNG economy. But the resultant surplus in the current account did not translate into increased revenue for the Government, or sufficient foreign exchange inflows.

In particular, I am concerned about food imports, because it constitutes the highest demand for foreign exchange and it is not matched by any foreign exchange revenue from food exports.

This is an area of great potential for investment given the land mass and suitable land conditions we have, which can contribute to replacement of food imports and exports of the surpluses.

Middle income

Bakani said the PNG LNG project changed the country from a low-income country to a middle-income country. This affected habits of consumption in PNG.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reached a point of being resilient.

We know it will take a long time to change the consumption behaviour of our population, but some change needs to happen to move away from high consumption of imported food to locally-produced food.

I guess, this is one consequence of the change in the economy structure from low-income to middle-income country.

Narrow export base

Bakani told delegates the concentration of PNGs exports in the resources sector makes the economy vulnerable.

Given the narrow export base and reliance on mineral projects and exports, the country has not reac...

04:47

Ruling Party denies extending invitation to Pangu Pati MPs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The ruling  People's National Congress has denied suggestions they invited members of the Opposition to join the government ranks.

In denying suggestions from the National Alliance party, PNC said: The people of the country made their will clear when the People's National Congress was returned by a large margin to continue our work of providing free education, better health outcomes and a stronger economy that serves us all.

We are happy to work with mature leaders willing to put their differences aside for the good of the country.

The National Alliance party have not proven themselves to be that.

On Monday (Sept 11), Pangu Party Leader, Sam Basil, officially switched seats, joining the PNC-led Government.

Basil moved with all the PANGU MPs from Morobe Province, including Central Province, Sohe and Lufa.

The MPs that made the switch:

Sam Basil PANGU Party Leader and Bulolo MP

William Samb Goilala MP

Capt Lekwa Gure Rigo MP

Robert Agarobe Central Governor

Henry Amuli Sohe MP

Kennedy Wenge Nawaeb MP

Ginson Saonu Morobe Governor

John Rosso Lae MP

Thomas Pelike - Menyamya MP

Kobby Bamareu Tewai Siasi MP

Chris Yer Sumkar MP

Moriape Karori Lufa MP

The four PANGU MPs who did not move are Madang Open MP Brian Kramer, Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, Finschhafen MP Rainbo Paita and Wabag MP Dr Lino Tom.

Press Release

04:43

Workshop to help develop possible digital channels for the future of saving groups "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Honiara, Solomon Islands A two-day ideation workshop is being held in Honiara, Solomon Islands
this week to help shape and develop linkages between savings groups to formal financial services
through digital channels.
Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas. It is at the
core of innovation that PFIP has been pursuing through its workstream and setting up of Innovation Labs
that are aimed at encouraging the adoption and usage of mass market financial services by rural and
low-income households in the Pacific. Through hands-on design activities, the workshop aims to engage
the participants to collaborate to imagine appropriate services by following a human-centered design
process.
In the Solomon Islands, remote rural households, especially women (80%) form savings groups where
there are limited to no financial services available. Savings groups offer a convenient place for saving,
withdrawals, small loans besides opportunities to improve financial literacy, peer support for small
business owners, and building social capital and cohesion within the communities.
Despite the popularity and proliferation of savings groups in rural and peri-urban Solomon Islands,
members often face issues that cannot be met by traditional savings groups models alone. Savings
group members have limited access to a broader range of financial services. PFIP is exploring
opportunities for linkages through digital channels to appropriate and affordable formal financial
services.
30 participants from Saving clubs promoters - World Vision, Live & Learn, Ministry of Women, GELCA,
WARA and commercial banks, financial institutions like ANZ, BSP, POB, SPBD and SINPF will be
participating in the two-day activities.
In opening the workshop, Dr Jasmine Cernovs, Counsellor Economics, Australian High Commission noted
the Australian Government, through its support to the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), is
happy to see the progress of financial inclusion in the country targeting rural Solomon Islanders,
especially women.
We are aware that initial work including a study of the savings groups in the country followed by a
grant project with World vision Solomon Islands covering remote communities in South Malaita reaching
nearly 2000 people has been successfully implemented by PFIP. We support the extension of this work in
assessing the feasibility of appropriate linkages with the private sector that will widen access to and
usage of formal financial services like banking, micro-savings, micro-credit, pensions by those in the
informal sector. These are steps in the right direction to include more Solomon Islanders into th...

02:42

Union Heavyweight Sally McManus Backs Hritier Lumumba In His Stand Against AFL Racism "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The nations most prominent union official has weighed into the racism scandal that has engulfed the AFL, warning Australias richest sporting code that its not immune from workplace health and safety laws.

Former Collingwood AFL star Hritier Lumumba who played 199 games for the Magpies under the name Harry OBrien was the subject of a recent documentary aired on SBS called Fair Game, in which he revealed that throughout his career, he was subjected to frequent racist taunts and jokes by players and officials.

Sally McManus, the head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) told New Matilda in a written statement that all workplaces, even major sporting codes, were not immune from workplace health and safety laws.

Shop-Sparkke-Change-the-Date-740-x-200

The AFL has the same responsibilities to players as any other employer would to workers in their workplace. They have a responsibility to ensure that players are safe, preventing racial abuse from fans or anyone else is a part of that responsibility, McManus said.

The ACTU congress has made clear its opposition to all forms of racial abuse, wherever it occurs and all Australian unions stand with Hritier Lumumba and support him for speaking out.

The AFL is a powerful cultural institution, and clear leadership on this issue from them would make a real difference in workplaces across Australia.

This issue has dogged the AFL for weeks. The sporting body has been caught lying about how it dealt with the scandal, and accused of a campaign of smear, with CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan claiming the issue was not about racism, rather Lumumbas state of mind.

CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.CEO of the AFL, Gillon McLachlan, in a screencap from a video of a recent appearance on Radio 3AW.

Lumumba told film-makers that during his time at Collingwood, he was nicknamed Chimp by some players, and subjected to consistent racial abuse and jokes through his time in the AFL.

...

02:37

People moves: Kina Group, KPMG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kina appoints a new brand ambassador, new KPMG partner appointed

Kina Group has appointed Sydney-based professional tennis player Abigail Tere-Apisah as its new brand ambassador.

***

KPMG audit partner, Peter Zabaks, is returning to the KPMG Sydney office. Herbert Maguma is his replacement in Port Moresby.

The post People moves: Kina Group, KPMG appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.

02:25

In brief: Highlands Highway re-opens after a month-long blockade, and other business stories "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Normal services along the Highlands Highways resume, coffee exports steady but expected to fall next year, and China approves loan for Pacific Marine Industrial Zone. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Two sections of the Highlands Highway which were blocked by relatives of two policemen killed during last months elections have re-opened, allowing normal services to flow. The highway was blocked off for a month, affecting the entire Highlands region.  Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry President, Alan McLay, said the blockade had been devastating for business, adding that trucking companies were struggling, and on the verge of layoffs.

***

Coffee Industry Corporation CEO, Charles Dambui, reportedly says coffee exports are steady, despite the coffee berry borer (CBB) affecting production eight months ago. Dambui said 2016 was a record year, with 1.12 million bags exported, worth K649 million. He said the effects of the CBB would be felt in 2018.

***

The Womens Micro Banks Ricky Mitio. Credit: Loop PNG

Chinas Exim Bank has agreed to fund the new plan for the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone project in Madang, with a US$152million (K350million) loan,  says Trade Minister Wera Mori.

***

The Womens Micro Bank is releasing seven million shares at K1 per share to mem...

01:42

Direct flights to Townsville from Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Air Niugini is now flying to Townsville directly from Port Moresby. Return flights to Townsville are starting from PGK 1,020* and flights are operating on Mondays and Fridays.

Begin your exploration in the blooming city of Townsville. Townsville City combines federation architecture with classy restaurants, accommodation and shopping like no other regional Queensland city. Townsville is a nature lovers paradise. The Great Barrier Reef, tropical islands, wetlands, wet tropics rainforests and a glorious beachfront are few major attractions. Townsville offers you a diverse range of historical, military, island, active and relaxing experiences. Townsville is packed with activities to excite every travel style!

So book your trip to Townsville with Air Niugini. Visit www.airniugini.com.pg to book online now.

01:40

China Exim bank approves PNG K350m PMIZ loan "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

The China Exim Bank have agreed to fund the new plan for the Papua New Guinea governments multi-million Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project with a US$152million (K350million) loan.

The loan is concessional and will be repaid by government when the project is operational and generates returns.

This was announced by the Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry Wera Mori Tuesday.

Mori said the initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the Exim Bank was stalled by the lengthy court battle with the Madang Environmental groups.

The initial Financial Investment Decision (FID) by the EXIM Bank of China was stalled by the lengthy court battle with Madang Environmental NGOs, resulting in the withholding of funds that had been earmarked for its development. However, the minister said traction was made on the project under the leadership of his predecessor now Planning Minister Richard Maru.

Under Maru, the PMIZ was redesigned to cater for all the communities and to hall larger ships into the new wharf.

Further for the redesigning and renegotiation of the FID with the EXIM Bank of China, Mori said.

Mori said he would be calling for a general forum to gauge the views of all impacted stakeholders to gauge their views which will be captured in a supplementary Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

He said given the disruptions the project had suffered, this was his initiative for a way forward to discourage any further delays and wastage of resources.

The PMIZ project must be delivered under my leadership without any further delays, the minister stressed..
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS/PNG Today

01:32

PNG Registrar of Political parties yet to hear from pro-Pangu MPs "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


Pangu Pati has moved only seven MPs from the 10 it has on record, according to the official registry of political parties.


Along with it on Mondays announcement were four pro Pangu independents Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), Henry Amuli (Sohe), John Rosso (Lae), and THE party member turned Pangu member Lufa MP Moriape Kavori.

The Registrar for Political Parties Dr Alphonse Gelu said the movements by independents who have aligned to Pangu are yet to be officially lodged to the registry.

Dr Gelu said however, that it was just according to the registrys official record and does not stop any movement occurring by MPs that have already occurred.

He said independent movements registered so far have only been lodged by the ruling party Peoples National Congress.

We only received the four (independents) that have moved to PNC and they have formalised that, but the other political parties not as yet, Dr Gelu said.

We havent received anything from Pangu. We havent received any paperwork from them. They will have to advise us in order for us to recognise them as members of Pangu Party.

Dr Gelu said officially those who had moved with Pangu are still considered independents as far as the Organic Law on the Integrity of Political Parties and Candidates was concerned.

Mondays move by Pangu and pro-Pangu independents reduces the number of MPs in the Opposition ranks of 46 MPs in the Alliance coalition, the biggest opposition ever assemble in the past four terms of parliament.

Meanwhile, the registry of Political Parties says the decision made by Pangu is the prerogative of the party and its leadership.

Dr Gelu said each MP has the prerogative as to where they want to move to, with the registry only involved as far as recognised party listings.

That is Pangus decision, the Registry has no say, not only Pangu but any other party, when they want to move that is their decision to make, Dr Gelu said.

Here at the registry we have nothing to do with that.

We have our listing on the movements. Now it is up to Pangu to move from the opposition to the government together with those members of parliament, 12 members.

When asked about what happens to...

01:10

Papuan landowners in PNG to receive first LNG project royalties of K15m "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Boera village in Central province landowners from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties. Video: EMTV News

Meriba Tulo in Boera village | Asia Pacific Report | September 13, 2017

After more than three years and 200 shipments, landowners of Boera village in Papua New Guineas Central province have became the first beneficiaries from the PNG LNG Project to receive royalties.

This followed the release of royalty benefits for PNG LNG Petroleum Processing Facility Licence 2 (PPFL2) area landowners to the Mineral Resources Development Company (MRDC) from the Department of Petroleum and Energy, Department of Finance, and the Central Bank.

Royalty payments for the four villages of Boera, Papa, Porebada and Rearea are in line with the Ministerial Determination number G692, 2015, which will see 83 clans receive a share of K15.6 million (NZ$6.7 million).

According to the Oil and Gas Act 1998, only 40 percent is to be paid as cash disbursement to landowners, with the remaining 60 percent to be set aside in two trusts the Future Generation Trust Fund (FGTF) and Community Investment Trust Fund (CITF).

Royalty Payment Allocation:
1. Cash Payment to Landowners: K6,250,701.00
2. Community Investment Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00
3. Future Generation Trust Fund: K4,688,026.00

From the K6,250,701.00 cash allocation, this is further broken up according to the following:
1. Rearea Village: K1,746,946.00
2. Papa Village: K1,746,946.00
3. Boera Village: K1,352,027.00
4. Porebada Village: K1,154,755.00
5. Others: K250,028.00

Meriba Tulo is a senior reporter and presenter and currently anchors Resource PNG as well as EMTVs daily National News. EMTV News items are republished by Asia Pacific Report with permission.


Tuesday, 12 September

22:00

Improving elections in PNG "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

As I wrote in my previous post, the 2017 elections in Papua New Guinea fell far short of what the people of PNG deserve. In the previous post I also explained the central cause of electoral problems in PNG: a voter-politician relationship that provides little incentive for politicians to care about well-run elections.

This particular dynamic isnt likely to change soon. This isnt a counsel of despair though. The relationship isnt wholly deterministic. Papua New Guineas next elections can be better. Here are some suggestions for what can be done. They arent aimed at any one in particular. Some could be championed by donors, but others will be better driven by Papua New Guineas domestic reformers. Papua New Guinea has a strong and vibrant civil society, and it will have a crucial role to play in improving elections.

A crucial start will be to press the government to adequately fund the electoral processes. Good elections cant be run on the cheap. But PNGs political dynamics mean politicians wont focus on resourcing national electoral infrastructure unless theyre pushed. The government also needs to adequately resource the parts of the legal system that deal with electoral petitions and similar matters. If the courts arent functioning or are taking years to hear cases, dishonest candidates have a lot less to fear. If theyre running well, the consequences of electoral malfeasance will become a stronger deterrent.

Also, push for transparency in all aspects of electoral process itself. As I said in my previous blog, the least transparent parts of elections are often the worst. How was the roll compiled and cleaned? Your guess is as good as mine. It doesnt have to be this way. In the next election the entire roll (or at the very least ward totals) should be published online, and then republished at each stage of the modification or tidying process. No need for fancy widgets; simple PDF files will do. The same process should be repeated with ballot paper distribution. Lets know in advance exactly how many ballot papers are intended for each polling station. If illegal manipulation of the roll occurs, as...

22:00

Im concerned about Sam Basil, who called ONeill spineless "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

FRANCIS NII

Sam Basil
Sam Basil - what happened to the honour, the principle?

KUNDIAWA - The speculation surrounding Sam Basil and his Pangu Party convening a secret meeting to join the Peter ONeills government finally became a reality on Monday when nine Pangu members and four independents from the opposition moved to the government side.

The Pangu MPs who joined the government are Sam Basil (Wau Bulolo), Kobby Bamarea (Tewai-Siasi), Kennedy Wenge (Nawaeb), Thomas Pelika (Menyamya), Konnie Iguan (Markham), Chris Nangoi (Sumkar) and William Samb (Goilala).

The four independents are Robert Agarobe (Central), Lekwa Gure (Rigo), John Rosso (Lae), Moriape Kavori (Lufa) and Henri Amuli (Sohe).

Politics in Papua New Guinea is always fluid and unpredictable. Something occurs now and later the exact opposite can happen.

No one had ever imagined Sam Basil would marry Peter ONeill who seemed to contradict all that Basil stood and fought for including good, prudent, honest and transparent governance.

Basil had been very vocal about how badly the ONeill-Dion government had handled the economy and finances of this country. He even declared ONeill as his number one enemy in an anti-ONeill slogan, Friend to all enemy to one Peter ONeill.

Most Papua New Guineans looked up to him Basil, ranking him alongside Garry Juffa, Mekere Morauta, Kerenga Kua, Allan Marat and Belden Namah to lead a strong alternative government for the next 18 months before a vote of no confidence motion could be taken against the ONeill regime.

However, Basil ditched his own integrity and the trust, respect and honour the people of PNG had placed in him and proceeded to marry his number one enemy, Peter ONeill.

In my view, Basil will go down in history as the hypocrite of the century. He has also made himself a laughing stock in the eyes of the international community.

In PNG politics, personal integrity as a national leader is not important to most members of parliament. There is no moral principle in them.

They something now and tomorrow th...

16:00

SABL logger cheating Bewani locals "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

What little I get from my royalty payments I give back to the logging company because most business houses in Vanimo town, including the only supermarket are owned by the logging company. Moreover, the company cheats me by claiming money from my royalty payments

Thats from Emap Itep of Aimbai village in Bewani, West Sepik Province.

A Malaysian logging company has logged his forest and now has an oil palm plantation on his land under a Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL).

The company came and said they have a Special Agriculture Business Lease and so have the right to claim my land for oil palm. When I realized its getting my trees and exporting them overseas while clearing the forest for oil palm, it said it will develop my village in exchange for my trees. I regret believing them because now I cant get whatever Ive grown and cultivated for food and income within the areas that the company has claimed, a worried Emap said.

Like most of the people Act Now! has come across in Bewani, Emap was not aware that the government has ruled all Special Agriculture Business Leases illegal and void. To Emap, the government seems like a nightmare that he unknowingly took part in creating, a government thats now terrifying him by allowing the company to continue and not standing by him.

The Moresby Government says cancel the SABLs but the Vanimo government lets the logging and land theft continue in Bewani. I dont understand, whats the need for a government if it cant operate as one for the people? he stated.

Emap was told by the logging company that he would no longer have to travel long distances to access basic services like health and education etc. He needed the very things that the company promised and wanted to see them happen so he, along with others welcomed the company in and has since been suffering at its hands.

The company said it will build a school in my village, an aid post, permanent houses etc, but first I have to give him my trees. I gave it permission to only get the trees but its claimed my land and said the land is its for 99 years. The cost of services it promised to deliver for free as a trade for my trees, has since been deducted from my royalty payments.

Emap gave an example of how the company fooled him and takes back money pai...

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