On behalf of the women and girls of Papua New Guinea, I’m grateful and humbled to take this opportunity to warmly welcome the Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, leaders and delegates from the 21 APEC economies and observers from around the world to our beautiful country. The host city Port Moresby is not Papua New…
LNG – A Catalyst for Development or Inequality in Papua New Guinea?
In March 2018, I was invited by the University of Melbourne to present a paper on Uneven Capital Flows at the Conference on New Geographies of Global Inequalities and Social Justice. It was an inter-disciplinary conference aimed at generating new knowledge about enduring and emerging forms of inequality and injustice, and contribute to public debate…
Natural Disasters: Have We Not Had Enough Lessons?
I send my heartfelt sympathies to our people of Hela, Southern Highlands, Enga and Western Provinces who have been affected by the earthquake and condolences to those who lost their loved ones. May God comfort you through this ordeal. At 3:44 am on Monday, 26 February 2018, the biggest earthquake in PNG of 7.5 magnitude…
LNG Bonanza – blessing or bane?
O’Neill and PNC dupe the people of Papua New Guinea by giving away for free equity that taxpayers have paid for. Unlike shares in BCL and OTML that O’Neill gifted to landowners the LNG equity takes directly from the rest of the country. BCL equity came from Rio Tinto. Ok Tedi shares were stolen from PNGSDP and indirectly the people of Western Province and then only 33% was returned to landowners whilst 30.4% was retained for the government.
BPNG’s illegal dividend
A bankrupt BPNG made an unlawful dividend payment of K102 million in 2014 under direction by the O’Neill Government.
Assault on democracy and an independent institution
The economy occupies center stage in debates in elections worldwide. Often the economy plays a major role in determining the outcome of election results. The political rhetoric and spin cannot change the realities on the ground – how our people are deeply impacted by economic growth. Economic performance and the incumbent government’s role in engendering this is fundamental in the concerns of our people. Nobody should attempt to stifle discussion of something so important.
Corrosive culture of corruption
The challenge of curtailing the corrosive culture of corruption and instilling good governance is the ultimate leadership challenge. In the Alotau Accord the O’Neill Government promised that it would “be remembered … as the most decisive, action packed, transparent and accountable Government the nation has ever had”. Sadly, it seems the O’Neill Government will be remembered instead for the slow but devastating erosion in good governance and poor development outcomes.
Addicted to debt
O’Neill and his party PNC promises the country that it will borrow more and burden us with more public debt if returned to office. Alas Papua New Guinea cannot be built on a mountain of debt. The immediate real cost of the O’Neill Government’s addiction to debt is a tax by stealth on economic growth.
Investments in future costs fueling provincial inequality
The O’Neill Government’s spending on “awe and envy” NCD infrastructure with poor net returns whilst allowing our rural people to languish in hardship from drying funds for much needed goods and services betrays the deficit of the O’Neill government not only in public finances but also in its morals. The cost of the very large new NCD roads exceeds the annual revenue for all those provinces outside NCD and Morobe. This gives perspective to the gross inequity and misallocation of resources.
Quality education for all
The O’Neill government has been quick to spruik it’s free education or TFF policy whilst failing to acknowledge the decline in quality of education as a result. The O’Neill Government’s own 2017 National Budget points out the failure as well as other independent agencies and commentators.