IN ITS report for 2015, Human Rights Watch lists the financial inducements offered by the Australian government to make the Manus Island deal happen.
“Australia remains [PNG]’s most important international partner,” it explains, “providing an estimated US$460m in development assistance for 2013-2014. Australia provided an additional $556.7m this financial year to support the Manus Island detention center.”
But O’Neill also possessed his own reasons for signing the deal.
In 2011, the PNG supreme court ordered him to stand down in favour of Michael Somare, an order with which he simply refused to comply.