THE LOWY INSTITUTE was
richly endowed by the multi-billionaire Australian Lowy shopping centre family
to give earnest consideration to matters of international policy affecting
The Institute will soon (on Thursday 22 April) collaborate
It’s a joke.
As the Institute’s flier says “the survey will cover the PNG macro-economy and fiscal management, oil, gas and mining developments, urban property markets, and achieving growth and donor assistance.
“Other presentations will cover the recently announced LNG project, mobile phones in PNG, the informal sector, Millennium Development Goals and political parties.”
An eminent colleague of mine – a former Senator, MP and diplomat - invited me to attend with him. I told him I would be wasting my time.
Normally I'd leap at something like this, I said, but the program avoided some real big issues that have a direct impact on its ostensible agenda. I nominated these as:
1 - Corruption
2 - Chinese influence
3 - Failure of resources to get to the grassroots
4 - Fissiparous tendencies
5 - The permeable border with
6 - Government by the elite, for the elite
7 - Looming political instability
Then I noticed who's sponsoring the program - AusAID - which led me to...
8 - The failure of Australian aid to make any real impact on the lives of ordinary PNGns
I suppose I could have added (9) What’s
I hope the participants enjoy the morning, bathed as they will be in the warm glow of commercial opportunity and political and social unreality.