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23 July 2013


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Colin Huggins

Martyn - you are neither right or wrong with your analysis of this situation.

The comments of you and Warwick Brandes are very good, but I suspect a bit on the anti-Aussie.

I think Australia pays most for the benefit of PNG, and regrettably via your leaders and senior bureaucrats come back here for purchases of homes, etc.

Now what do you think of that? Somare and Co etc. Go to Clifton Gardens, north 20 odd kms of Cairns and have a look. You will be surprised - BMWs and Mercedes (top range) even left in the streets! I have seen it courtesy of an ex-resident of Lae, and born in Lae.

If you were in Brisbane on your visit to address the PNG problems, you may have had the opportunity to visit ANZAC Square, where you may have seen a statue - WW2 - the "Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel" assisting a wounded Australian soldier.

You might also be interested in knowing that school Australians knowledge regarding PNG is what happened in WW2, classes here do history lessons and I have seen many kids of all nationalities (now Aussies) taking copious notes of what is written on the plaques under the statues.

So school children here "should" know some history regarding PNG and Australia?

As you have mentioned - look at the cartoons in the Australian press - today one had Kevin in bed with William, Katie and a baby! Silly but funny, I believe in the Murdoch rag - The Sydney Telegraph.

Martyn - you are not right on this nor are you wrong.

A bit of both one may say. I do recall that the first visit by PM Kevin Rudd and the naming of a baby bought great glee in comments long ago.

PM Rudd was the "hero". You can't have it both ways, or can you?

Peter Kranz

For Kevin Rudd to ignite the fuse of racial and nationalistic denigration of PNG by ignorant Australians shows that Martyn has a good point.

Rudd is prepared to sacrifice his much-vaunted relationship with PNG for cynical exploitation to try and win an electoral advantage.

Just imagine this in the reverse. PNG is faced by the frightening prospect of a few thousand Muslims seeking refuge in PNG, so manages to broker a deal with Australia whereby they can all be sent to Groote Eylandt.

Equal partners? My arse.

This is colonial-era bullying and bribery.

Martyn Namorong

Thanks Warwick for your feedback. I believe this was also a major blunder on the part of PNG's politicians.

One only has to look at the cartoons in the Australian press to see negative stereotypes of PNG, further perpetuating the myth that Martyn Namorong and his kind still live as savages

Warwick Brandes

Hi Martyn,

I have been trying to find words for these hasty arrangements and after reviewing the Regional Resettlement arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea, find the whole process an ill conceived election winning ploy by PM Rudd.
PNG is not the "hostile, primitive backwater populated by mean, uneducated people" but it is an easy illusion to sell to potential illegal boat arrivals.
PNG Attitude has quite a few contributors who are expats and PNG Nationals with experience in Australian attitudes and for that we are thankful as they tend to try and keep the story straight.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Australian population have little idea of PNG culture, society and family structures. Their basic knowledge is that of WW2 commitment and contribution the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels made.
With such a naive voter population, the sell is easy.
Interestingly, the Australian Opposition Leader Abbot is a supporter of same policy and hence demonstrates his complete ignorance of PNG society.
His deputy leader Julie Bishop seems equally ill equipped with understanding of PNG regularly using Moresby as a stage to proclaim her credentials and denigrate the current Australian government (regardless of who is the leader) for their contributions and investments in PNG.
Politics in Australia has become extremely grubby and personal. Voters are tiring of such behaviour yet in the new 24/7 news cycle with twitter and Facebook, this seems the new norm.
I suppose the party that reinvents the message in a friendlier and productive manner will gain popularity and improve the lot for all those unfortunate observers of this current style of politics.
I see the resettlement arrangement will evolve considerably prior to the detail due 31 July 2013 for new bilateral Memorandum of understanding to replace existing memorandum of understanding in effect for the Manus Island Processing Centre.
Thank you Marytn for finding the words in your usual effective style.

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