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« China hits back at criticism of Pacific aid - 'we're here to help' | Main | Citizenship issue for PNG-born Australians deepens »

02 November 2018

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After reading about the citizenship problems being experienced by John Bird's children I'm inclined to add that what we really need is an enlightened, progressive and non-racist government in Australia.

Racism is at the base of all the problems that Papua New Guineans have in obtaining visas to visit Australia. It is also the basis for our treatment of refugees and asylum seekers.

We have racists in Australia, no question about that, but we also seem to have a wholly racist government.

It is unlikely that Australia could ever match the so called "aid" which China is giving PNG.

Massive buildings, six-lane highways, and roads to nowhere are very impressive, but they are of no use to the bulk of the neglected population out there in regional and remote PNG.

On the other hand, we can easily compete against the Chinese with proper aid delivered to the people who need it.

Out there in remote parts of PNG there are hospitals with no medicines, schools with no books, and public buildings with no maintenance.

Some of these areas, for example, those along the Papuan coast, although remote from Port Moresby are easily accessible by boat from Cairns or Townsville.

From these Australian cities we could easily supply the vital needs of communities along the Fly River, coastal Papua, and the Milne Bay islands.

In this context, a box of medicines for each hospital, a box of stationery for each school and so on would considerably improve living conditions in these remote parts of PNG forgotten by their own government.

Of course to function effectively, this supply system would need to bypass the corrupt and venal officialdom of Port Moresby. Easily done, like those cruise ships which bypass Moresby and visit the remote Milne Bay islands direct.

Already there are a few former PNG expats, and a few Australian charaties who supply necessities to remote parts of PNG. All that is needed is an Australian quango which could help with funding and logistics.

From simple beginnings this system could spread across PNG, delivering proper aid where it is needed, and restoring the good relations between PNG people and Australians, just like it was when we were there.

The cost would be a lot less than if we tried to compete against the Chinese.

Barbara - Whilst China continues to enlarge it's gulags for forced indoctrination of its millions of ethnic minorities, beware.

China now has an emperor for life, Xi, following in the footsteps of the great despot Chairman Mao.

And Xi's in bed with the former Soviet despot Stalin's successor, Putin.

Enough said, no enough can never be said.

Beware.

Most developed countries base their relationships with their less endowed neighbours on economic grounds. Here we are, for instance, judging China and Australia's respective interest in the Pacific on how much money they give the region.

This is well and good but there are other factors we ignore that can also have significant impacts.

Australia has one major advantage over China (and the US) in its proximity to the region.

If Australia opened its borders to Papua New Guineans and made it easier for them to visit, work and maybe settle here it would enhance and create that elusive fair dinkum relationship without costing too much money at all.

Such a relationship would also allow Australian norms to rub off on Papua New Guineans and we might see the beginning of the end to the corruption and poor governance.

What we really need is an enlightened and progressive government in Australia.

PNG people who lived under Australian rule, who were educated by Australians, who know of all the money the Australian government gave to PNG, are slowly dying out, and a new younger generation of PNG people is arising and they are obviously keen to get financial help from any country that offers.

Australia gave PNG its Independence. We went home and left them to do it. Now some of us have come back to see if we can still help in some way. Others just got on with their lives and give PNG little thought.

PNG is an independent country and is free to make its own friends. Maybe China will be a good friend. It certainly seems keen to become a good friend with PNG.

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