“There must be a firm focus on self sufficiency rather than aid dependency,” Ms Bishop told Radio Australia.
“With the revenue from resource projects in PNG set to boost its economy, Australian aid will play a comparatively lesser role in PNG's development.”
However, Ms Bishop said that, on a recent visit to PNG, “it was apparent that the social development issues are immense” and that “delivering health and education services to some is particularly challenging.”
She said that PNG is at an important juncture in its development.
“It's on the verge of this mining and resource boom that should generate significant income with the potential to radically alter the course of its economic and social development.
“Mining and resource companies are already active participants in the development field, not only are they building new infrastructure; but also providing basic medical facilities and schools.”
Ms Bishop said that often mining companies’ networks are more efficient than government but that they reach further into the remote areas than the government does. She said churches and NGOs will also continue to play an important role.
“My point is while Australia must continue to support PNG; we should take a long term view and work to a more economic partnership model than just an aid donor, aid recipient model,” she said.
Source: Radio Australia, 3 October