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IN HIS FIRST INTERVIEW since being re-elected to the nation’s top job Papua New Guinea’s prime minister Peter O’Neill has told SBS News his government plans to crack down on corruption,.
Speaking of a massive deal with petroleum company Exxon Mobil that could see PNG’s GDP double over the next two years, Mr O'Neill said a sovereign wealth fund had been put together to manage revenue coming from mineral developments.
“Our country has squandered similar opportunities in the past. My job now is to create an environment where these funds are managed properly.”
Mr O’Neill also spoke of his government’s willingness to support equal rights in parliament.
“PNG has had a change in its attitude towards women, and it’s encouraging to note that two ladies have been elected to parliament now, and, although that is not enough, I think it is a good start.”
Mr O’Neill was re-elected in early August by a huge majority of 94-12. PNG’s new government is formed from a broad coalition of former leaders and senior parliamentary figures, including Sir Michael Somare, who was ousted as Prime Minister in August last year.
“For them to come and give support to myself and other young leaders, to manage our country over the next few years is an indication of the maturity of politics our country,” Mr O'Neill said."