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14 August 2017

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Very interesting read. So now that the Manus Processing Centre was ruled as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea on the 26 April 2016, I guess the ball is in Australia's court.

If this doesn't qualify for a 4 Corners investigation I don't know what does.

"If these facts can be investigated and written about by an academic, why aren't they acted upon by the relevant authorities?"

The Manus deal is symbolic (but not central - it's merely the biggest and most representative example) to these issues. From Australia's perspective, what better way to ensure that the PNG government remains well-disposed and pliant to any Australian requests?

Australia itself is not guilty of any corruption. They're not bribing anyone. They have no evidence of anyone being bribed - and even when PNG supplies that evidence during proceedings like the ones described above, they can always be dismissed as "politicised", and therefore unreliable by Australian standards.

Simultaneously, if the PNG government was to turn against Australia - for example, by refusing to cooperate with Australia on the refugee dislocation issue, or indeed on any other issue deemed important enough - then the Australian government can suddenly launch an investigation and miraculously uncover reams of evidence that the wealth deposited by PNG officials in Australia comes from corruption, and must be confiscated (not necessarily returned to PNG, mind you).

This point is perhaps best illustrated in the final paragraphs of the above article.

Australian banks are, of course, wholly independent of the Australian government, and can act contrary to the Australian government's will - from this perspective, the decision to close O'Neill's bank accounts just as the Manus deal was being negotiated, would have indeed induced panic in the government, precisely because it goes against the standard operating procedure of dangling a threat over someone's head, without making good on it as long as they're cooperative.

Even then, however, you can't help wondering - what if, in fact, the bank's decision was encouraged behind the scenes by the Australian government, as a way of showing O'Neill that much worse could follow if the deal does not happen?

How do you talk to a big, burly man that's holding your wallet? Very politely.

Excellent suggestion Phil. Have now done so. Let's see if we get any action.

Get on to 4 Corners Paul.

Trying to lobby them to research the Australian/PNG relationship.

Only way to get a response from our government.

The incredible part of this whole saga is that books are now being written about those who are still in power both in PNG and Australia.

If this directly involved Australian politicians and crooks we could expect a TV mini series to be the next step.

'Underbelly PNG' here we come.

Australian political leaders of all persuasions should hang their heads in shame that they are allowing this situation to happen with their knowledge and acceptance.

If these facts can be investigated and written about by an academic, why aren't they acted upon by the relevant authorities?

Apologies however to the few unsung heroes who are prepared to try to understand the problem and work behind the scenes.

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