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24 July 2013

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Peter O'Neill has spoken to the ABC late yesterday complaining about the way PNG has been portrayed in the Australian media and by the Australian opposition.

He took particular exception to the claim by Abbott and Hockey that PNG had "been given a blank cheque" to spend aid money as it wishes.

He pointed out that AusAID funds are directed to development priorities set by PNG and have been for some time - as is the case for any other AusAID recipient country - and are subject to strict governance rules.

If you've had any experience of the tough governance controls required by AusAID for their projects you will realise that talk of "blank cheques" is complete nonsense.

As much as I dislike Rudd's PNG proposal, the Australian opposition are talking complete nonsense here.

And this morning Tony Burke is due in Manus to investigate claims of abuse at the detention centre.

At least this whole business has raised the profile and awareness of PNG amongst Australians who probably in the past couldn't even point to PNG on a map.

Martyn and Warwick. I live in a street that has Indian, Pakistani and Vietnamese families who have settled here - the Vietnamese were boat people, they fled in boats after Saigon fell. They were Catholics, they were tortured but got out from a communist regime.

They have all become Aussies - their kids have done well - all participate in Australian sports and culture. They are all lovely people.

This boat mob are a different "kettle of fish" - so if Manus scares them off - good.

If these boat people will adapt to PNG living and abiding by the laws of PNG, they, if they have talents in certain spheres - agriculture, building, medical etc. they may be an asset.

If they are found out to be economic refugees - then "hasta la vista Manus' on a plane and back to where you came from.

Australia has had enough, seems Indonesia also, other countries like the PRC have closed doors.

Just maybe Rudd and O'Neill have bit the bullet, we are paying - the boats may cease.

I think Rudd as done a good deal, don't expect a change if Abbott co, get in.

I am sure President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia has had enough also.

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