PNGi takes Ockham's razor to APEC Maserati furore
Report highlights govt's multiple breaches in SABL land grab

Pauline Hanson, dysfunctionality & the politics of profligacy

Albert & Maserati
Dr Albert Schram, pictured here on his Sunday hike in Italy, knows a Maserati when he sees one.

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In her simplistic way, the extreme right wing politician Pauline Hanson says that if Papua New Guinea can afford forty luxury Maserati vehicles it doesn’t need Australian aid.

It is the same sort of logic that many people use when arguing for a cut to welfare payments. The argument goes that if they just spend the money on cigarettes, booze and poker machines and refuse to get a job they don’t deserve to get it.

We all know that most people forced onto welfare struggle to make ends meet and carefully manage their money.

It is just the irresponsible minority that gives them a bad name and forces more and more strictures on everyone.

The Papua New Guinea government has now further and decisively demonstrated that it is a similar irresponsible minority.

The Maserati purchase is now a fecund symbol of the unbridled extravagance and irresponsibility of the O’Neill government.

By remaining uncritical the Australian government is complicit and its aid program suspect.

I suspect that this story is going to play out for some considerable time, both before and after APEC.

I also suspect that as the narrative evolves and the symbolism strengthens there will be a backlash.

This will be especially so if politicians are spotted driving around Moresby in the vehicles after APEC finishes. Nobody would be that stupid, or would they Mr Tkatchenko?

Aid donors, particularly Australia but perhaps even China and others, will now think twice about giving Papua New Guinea more money to splurge on questionable programs.

In political terms this might be a good thing but in practical terms for the Papua New Guinean people it will be another setback.

With a government up to its eyeballs in debt, reduced aid money will only mean that the trickle that actually gets spent in rural areas will be diminished.

Inherent in Pauline Hanson’s comment is the suspicion that Australia has been played as a mug for a long time in its relationship with Papua New Guinea.

The conservative side in Australian politics is probably already gearing up to slash more money from its aid budget.

Why should we give them more money when they just blow it on fast cars?

Cars are a bit like yachts, they are a big hole into which you just pour money. Nobody buys a new car and sells it a few weeks later for a profit. The only people who do that are shonky used car salesmen.

The assertion that the Papua New Guinean government will recover its costs from the purchase simply beggars belief.

Who would have thought that a luxury Italian motor car would become a symbol of O’Neill’s dysfunctional government?

Comments

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Martin Auld

'Guessing that Bentley brand is hi-lux'

But hard to beat the Brits -

'Ian Leaf led a team of very young people (non above 26), who achieved remarkable success in manufacturing and selling these cars to the expanding Middle Eastern market.'

http://www.range-rover-classic.com/Home/land-rover-brochures/range-rover-specials/rapport-ltd---uk

I.L had a showroom in Park Lane and they bulletprooofed their motors out of sight, using Aussie and Kiwi 'car detailers' to deliver them to Arab Princes, Moscow and Berlin.

The place was thick with armed S. Africans and Israelis. What else he did using his lux motors as a front and how he lasted so long suggests very good protection.

Keep digging boys, the real story may be elsewhere.

Bernard Corden

Ever since the G20 in Brisbane and the egregious performance of the mad monk on a world stage, Australia has gone rapidly downhill.

Lindsay F Bond

Guessing that Bentley brand is hi-lux...
See: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/16/first-maseratis-now-bentleys-for-apec-in-papua-new-guinea
Hi-lux is the grand brand measure of clearance for roading importation and imputation.

Arthur Williams

Mauswara Maserati madness. The more the elites try to support this latest APEK embarrassment the more they put their feet in their big mouths.

Meanwhile the lesser mortals of next month’s meeting have been conducting all sorts of preliminary meetings for many months and spend money like it grows on RH’s trees or the backs of cocoa & coffee trees harvested by the peasants.

Loved the report in National today: ‘APEC finance officials ironing out loose ends.’ At least it wasn’t Maserati big-ends if they have such simple machinery under the bonnet.

The report said, “This year’s retreat is an opportunity for ministers and heads of delegations to share experiences on effective public finance strategies that support growth’.
Did he mean 48 inch waist or K40 million waste?

Report continued: This may include (oh I loved this one!)
the role of public finance management and good governance.

Back to the garbage the lovely ultimate ‘Gavamani’ gobbledegook that I am still considering its meaning: ‘Bankable wate management infrastructure projects'.

There's been so much written about APEC over the years but I close my post with what I think bears on the Maserati project.

It’s in one of the many sections of guidelines to the 1994 Bogor declaration in Indonesia:

"Each APEC economy will:

a. enhance the transparency of its government procurement regimes and its government procurement information;

b. establish, where possible, a government procurement information database and provide the information through a common entry point;

c. review on a voluntary basis and take appropriate steps to improve the consistency of its government procurement regime with the APEC Non-binding Principles on Government Procurement (transparency, value for money, open and effective competition, fair dealing, accountability and due process , and non-discrimination)"

I wonder if our politicians ever read?

I Bruce

Never used to support her because of her rather particular stance towards the indigenous people of Australia but Ms Hanson has my support this time.

Cut the aid, it does not trickle down to the majority of the rural populace in PNG.

"...a luxury Italian motor car would become the symbol of O'Neill's dysfunctional government?" Pure genius Phil.

Lindsay F Bond

Massive rate
deft hand turn
rite hand spurn
reverse stern
forward churn
at cornering
and really drift
as certainly
accelerate
assumed cost fumes
all tosting booms
add-stress plumes
a masquerade.

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