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20 September 2014


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There are some great PNG terms.

'Wash your brain' is one of my favourites. You can translate it as,

'Bire memenay kinde errukwa' (phonetic Kuman)

Or in good old Australian, 'bullshit'.

Well I think Julie Bishop has just been guilty of that at her appearance at the international vaccination conference for developing countries at Canberra this morning.

'We are doing our best to fight the threat of Ebola and TB and other threatening viruses in PNG and throughout our South Pacific neighbours.'

Meanwhile her government has cut funds to the CSIRO, linked aid funding to business development and downplayed the threat of a transmission-vector via the Torres Strait and closed TB clinics in the Torres Strait.

I am still awaiting a transcript, but I watched extracts of her performance on TV, complete with laughs, death stares at journalists who dared to ask embarrassing questions, and whitewashing (I use that term advisedly) of the threat to PNG.

And she is proposed as a future Prime Minister? And she is the lawyer who defended asbestos mining companies against claims from dying workers?

A mature relationship? Maybe like that between an overbearing parent and a troublesome child.

To paraphrase the words of Saint Gough, may God save us because the foreign minister certainly won't.

I'd be interested to know where or who this extract came from. The part reproduced above is merely the 'social chatter' part of an important and informative speech.

I attended the dinner in Sydney last Wednesday. Ms Bishop listed the Australian Government's achievements since the beginning of the present term. She mentioned what is currently going on and she told her audience of new projects and initiatives about to happen.

None of this is mentioned above.

Please let PNG Attitude's readers know the most impressive part of her presentation.

The link at the end of the extract directs interested readers to the full speech - KJ

Well said Peter.

Ms Bishop, I can't help but notice the contrast between your by-proxy relationship with PNG (you had a pen pal there when your were young, your sister went to Goroka in 1975, and your sentimental evocation of the days of fuzzy wuzzies and kiaps), and the realities of life in the Manus detention centre, the closing of the Queensland TB clinics, the refusal to relax visa restrictions on PNG people wishing to visit Australia, turning a blind eye to millions of kina being laundered in Australia and the reduction in aid funding to focus on 'economic development' whatever that may mean.

Seems to be a euphemism for giving greater opportunities for Australian big business to rort PNG once again.

I think many PNG people will see your comments as a romantic smokescreen, whilst PNG people are dying through lack of adequate basic healthcare, the rise in preventable diseases, the endemic violence against women, rampant corruption etc.

Take some real direct action Ms Bishop, then people may believe you are as good as your word.

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