Just a few months ago you could have sworn the man couldn’t give two hoots about Papua New Guinea, and now our nearest neighbour is right at the top of his ‘look at my new friend’ list.
According to Joe Kelly in Saturday’s Australian newspaper, Senator Carr “is sending a new message about PNG as it braces for an unprecedented resources boom with the potential to reframe the relationship.”
Nothing like a wealthy neighbour with a new four burner barbecue to set the juices of self-interest running.
And now the good senator has heard the clarion call, he’s preaching with all the zeal of a new convert.
"We're entitled to say to other sections of our [Australian] society,” he sermonised, “you've got to take the relationship seriously as well.
"I really challenge Australian business to step up and start playing its role.
"Australian society has got to get in behind the government and the attention we're giving in relation to PNG, (it) deserves to be taken more seriously, more seriously than at any time since the mid-1970s."
Sheesh! And it seems like only yesterday Senator Carr, when he wasn’t otherwise steadfastly ignoring PNG, was offending its government by suggesting global sanctions might be in order to enable it to run its own internal affairs more satisfactorily.
Still, it would be churlish to hold this past hauteur against the foreign minister. “Let’s move on going forward,” as contemporary political jargon might have it.
And a final insight from the foreign minister: “Elections are very hard when you've got mountains like these and deep gullies and people who speak so many different languages."
Merry Christmas, Bob. We'll get off your back next year.
Footnote: Jackson PR Associates, funder of this website, is the only Australian public relations company to cater specifically for businesses that have an interest in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific