IS AUSTRALIA BENDING BACKWARDS TO ACCOMMODATE PNG’S MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT?

PM TURNBULL
by PETER WARINE

Australia’s nearest neighour and only colony, Papua New Guinea, is on the brink of economic collapse due to grand corruption and mismanagement of the O’Neill Government. The Public coffers have run dry early last year (2015) and PNG has there seems not much left to keep its head above the water. 

PNGs economic outlook is bleak. International Rating Agencies have all downgraded PNG to negative gradings. The O’Neill Government conducted roadshows around the world to secure some more loans to ease the cash flow and foreign reserve shortages but to no avail. Even treasury bonds were used to attract investors but were seen as mere toilet papers. 

The economic crises has escalated and literally, there is no money to pay the public servants salary –something that O’Neill wants covered all the time as a measure of control public dissent. Whilst trouble is brewing on the island of paradise, life is as usual downunder. Australia has never raised any form of mild disapproval on the turmoil its only colony is in. Australia continues to parade in public forums that PNG is a dear and close friend of Australia but what does it really mean to be that ‘close’ and ‘dear’? When PNG had the political crises in 2011/2012, the Australian Government decided to recognize the O’Neill Government despite Australia having reason to know that the change of government was constitutionally flawed.

 Even after the Supreme Court of the land declared the appointment of Peter O’Neill unconstitutional, Australia did not waiver on its commitment to accept unconstitutionality and illegality. In return, Peter O’Neill signed the Manus Asylum Detention Centre Deal with Australia –a deal that O’Neill recently claimed was signed by the previous regime and has to be shut down. In their haste to sign the agreement, Australia was also prepared to ignore the legal and sovereignty implications, a invaluable lesion after the failed ECP Police agreement. 

The outcome of the Supreme Court Reference initiated by then Opposition Leader, Hon Belden Namah will expose their arrogance. Australia continues to willfully turn a blind eye on millions of kina laundered into Australia by Peter O’Neill and members of his government and cronies. Australia, with its reliable intelligence, should know the mediums of transfer of these illegitimate funds but does nothing about it. Now that all the potential financiers have closed their doors against PNG for any more borrowing, PNG PM is looking at Australia. 

O’Neill knows how to touch on where it matters most to Australia –Manus Detention Centre. O’Neill calculated that he would drop the bombshell to coincide with the PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum and he did so successfully at the Australia Press Club. Bang, it has worked again –K1.5 billion in AID to PNG between now and 2017. Australia delivers its own aid projects and it had been very difficult for the PNG Government to align the aid to PNG Budget, but it would not be surprising if Australia gives this K1.5billion to support the PNG Budget. 

What happened to the mega hospital that Australia would build in Lae as a result of the Manus Deal? Australia seems to have no concern for the flagrant flaunting of the rule of law, O’Neill’s rampant and high-level corruption, mismanagement of the PNG Economy, destruction of independent institutions of Government, just to name a few. Is Australia sacrificing too much of itself to sustain an illegal and unconstitutional detention centre on Manus Island? What are the values Australia holds that it wants emulated by PNG? What is Australia’s foreign policy towards PNG? Does Australia believe in O’Neill’s grandstanding and rhetoric and lies? 

It seems Australia does. SO, IS AUSTRALIA BENDING BACKWARDS TO ACCOMMODATE PNG’S MOST CORRUPT GOVERNMENT? The answer is undoubtedly affirmative!