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Thursday, 21 September


Human rights abuses needs national & community approach Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

DespairSYDNEY NAM | The Borgen Project | Edited extracts

SEATTLE - While Papua New Guinea has enjoyed the benefits of economic improvement due to extractive industries, more than 40% of its population of more than seven million live in poverty.

The state of human rights in PNG is severely lacking and includes government corruption, abuse of female rights, inhumane conditions for asylum seekers, police brutality, lack of minority rights and prosecution for sexual orientation and gender identity,.

Police abuse is rampant. Between 2007 and 2014, a total of 1,600 complaints regarding police brutality were logged by the internal affairs directorate. The government has yet to release how many of these cases resulted in judicial proceedings.

Since 2014, the anti-corruption directorate has held a warrant for the arrest of prime minister ONeill, but a court order still prevents the police from arresting him. As a result, in June 2016, police shot at University of Papua New Guinea students for peacefully protesting government corruption. Over 30 people were injured.

The United Nations has not overlooked such violations of human rights. In May 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a 687-page report critical of PNGs government and its authoritarian actions.

Police aggression and abuse have also been highly gendered, with PNG remaining one of the worst countries in the world for its rates of family and sexual violence. The normalisation of these actions has prevented aggressive prosecution of perpetrators or prosecution of these men by police.

The government has failed to rally legislative or judicial action against gender-based corruption and coercion. Violent groups of people have attacked individuals for alleged acts of witchcraft. The severe violation of human rights in PNG requires serious action but proves difficult because of cultural complexities.

Undoubtedly, there is no simple solution to changing dysfunctional cultural and national norms. The approach towards fighting against governmental corruption and gender-based violence, among many other human rights issues, requires national and community-level strategies.

Wednesday, 20 September


West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans Papua Merdeka News

From Dateline Pacific, 4:03 am on 18 September 2017 The West Papua National Coalition for Liberation says its decolonisation aspirations are focussed on action at the United Nations. The Coalition is one of the key groups within the United Liberation Movement for West Papua, which is pushing for internationally-facilitated negotiation with Indonesia over Papua's political

West Papuan liberation movement focussed on UN plans was originally published on

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Elections Review: Highlands Region PNG Daily News

Journalist Freddy Mou witnessed firsthand the volatile situation of elections in the Highlands.

This is his summary of elections in the Highlands.

The campaign period in the Highlands region is always a time to showcase the sort of leaders a tribe has.

This is when pigs, cows and other livestock are slaughtered, with celebrations after celebrations held at various campaign venues by candidates to try and lure voters.

As described by bishops and Diocesan Secretaries of the four Highlands Dioceses in their Annual Regional Secretaries Meeting earlier this year, elections in the region have never been free, fair and transparent.

The people of the region have suffered and many have been routinely denied services.

Only a minority have benefited while the common people struggle to make ends meet.

While elections in the Highlands is known for its fiesta, mandating a leader always involved violence and corrupt dealings, requiring more security.

Security personnel engaged for the elections were mainly focused on the Highlands.

Police Commissioner Gari Baki, in a meeting with government departmental heads before the campaign period, said there were still issues in the Highlands which needed close attention.

He cautioned that for the past five years, provinces such as Southern Highlands witnessed peace but this did not mean there would be no threats or disruptions during the election period.

As reported, no election related violence occurred during the campaign period but a large sum of cash was involved.

Heading into and during polling, a lot of issues were raised by concerned candidates and supporters.

These involved the electoral roll update, polling venues and others.

Bulk voting and underage voting was also witnessed in some parts of the Highlands region.

Even though security personnel were present at the polling venues, nothing was done to stop such practices.

A candidate in the Goroka Open seat posted pictures on social media alleging that people were voting at will, without any control from the polling officials.

However, Provincial Election Manager Steven Kaupa brushed aside the allegations.

Kaupa, when asked about the claims, said the presiding officer, at that time, allowed that to happen in order to complete polling on time.

Furthermore, the rugged terrain of some remote areas in the Highlands region is always a challenge to the Electoral Commission when conduct...


Investor committed to Sepik Plains Project PNG Daily News

Via Loop PNG

20th September 2017

Israeli investor, Innovative Agro Industry, has assured the Government and the people of East Sepik of its commitment to invest and develop several agriculture and farming projects on the Sepik Plains.


Chief executive officer of the Innovative Agro Industry, Lior Crystal, was part of a delegation that flew over to the Sepik Plains on Monday, Sept 18, 2017.


Other parties on the aerial inspection were the Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Bruce Davis, and the CEO of the PNG Cocoa Board, Kautu Boutua.


The delegation was led by the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, and Member for Yangoru-Saussia, Richard Maru.


The delegation was given a birds-eye view of the proposed site of the chicken and grain project under the Sepik Economic Zone (SEZ).

Crystal described the Sepik Plains as a beautiful landmass sitting there, waiting for development.


I am here on behalf of the LR Group, Innovative Agro Industry, stating that we are committed to the development of this land. We are not only coming to develop, we are coming as an investor. We are putting our money where our mouth is, Crystal said.


The Innovative Agro Industry will develop an egg laying farm, broiler meat farm and grain production.


The developer will also establish a modern cocoa plantation using Israeli technology that will produce 400 to 500 percent more yield than an average cocoa plantation.


Filed under: Agreement, Agriculture, Business, Community, Development, Economy, Government, Growth, Information, Investment, land Tagged: Agriculture, Community Development, Development, Government, Innovative Agro Industry, Sepik Plains Project ...


Better Regulatory Mechanism Needed For Pasca PNG Daily News

Co-operation between all stakeholders to put in place a better fiscal and regulatory mechanism for the the petroleum and mining industry, and the economy as a whole, is needed.

Papua New Guinea Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) head of national secretariat Lucas Alkan said the countrys first off-shore gas project, the K1 billion Pasca Gas Field in Gulf, is set for first drilling in 2020.

Mr Alkan said changes in technology and the way people do business today are so swift, and the petroleum and mining industry have their own challenges and opportunities.

He said the country is in a very unique position to be a model country to set standards that other miners and explorers around the world can learn from. The Solwara 1 Project in New Ireland and the Pasca projects are case in point, Mr Alkan said.

We are of the view that the industry and the Government are living up to meeting immediate obligations and this must be further be strengthened to see better outcomes, Mr Alkan said.

If there needs to be finer tunning to certain legislations and policies, the timing is now right to make things happen. He said PNGEITI believes that with the offshore gas project in the Gulf province, the Department of Petroleum and Energy is on top of this in terms of policy and legislations to cater for this development.

We hope to see better outcomes from negotiations and discussions around setting up better fiscal and regulatory frameworks to lay solid foundations for similar projects in future.

We have world class technical expertise to make PNG a model mining and petroleum country that strictly upholds global best practices, whether it be in transparency or the overall approach taken in administering and regulating business in the mining and petroleum space.

There is a whole scheme of things we need to harmonize before the economy and the investors alike can enjoy the benefits of PNGs resource.

We at PNGEITI always stand ready to do our bit to promote accountability and transparency in the industry.

Filed under: Agreement, Development, Economy, Governance, Government,...


Govt Offers Rebate To Land Catches Onshore PNG Daily News

The Government will work closely with the fishing industry to implement new policy initiatives announced by Prime Minister Peter ONeill last week.

Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Patrick Basa held a meeting with representatives from the fishing industry last week to assure them.
The initiatives announced by Mr ONeill included a rebate being offered to fishing companies so that they land their catches onshore to be processed.

The Government forecasts that this would prompt the existing processors to lift their capacity from about 30 percent to about 70 percent. This would create more jobs for Papua New Guineans, and ensure revenue and foreign exchange that is lost to countries like Philippines and Thailand are retained. But the companies say they have not seen the details of the rebates scheme, and are worried that its fast implementation would lead to them make financial losses, resulting in the closure of their business.

Chief among their concerns is the high cost of doing business in PNG, poor infrastructure, lack of adequate and reliable power supply, and high labour cost.
Minister Basa told the representatives that the government appreciates their concerns, and will work closely with them to ensure their concerns are accommodated and addressed. He told them the government was not against the companies, but working towards ensuring a greater return to its people for the harvest of their resource.

Minister Basa instructed the National Fisheries Authority to work with the industry representatives in the nest three months to develop a matrix on the way forward. He directed, among other things, for the NFA to identify the catches by fleets over the last 5 years in PNG and where these fish are landed or exported.

He directed that these data be clear on whether these catches are recorded as catches from Distant Fishing Nations, Locally based foreign flagged vessels, or PNG flagged vessels.

We need to know the exact volume of catches and by fleets. Further to that I want to also know the volume of catches by fleets that is landed in Bangkok and the Philippines, the Minister said.

With four processing plants already operating in Malahang Industrial Centre in Lae, and another two being planned, the government is pushing ahead to build a wharf dedicated to serve fishing companies.

That wharf is to be built in nearby Wagung, and this would address one of the concerns of the fishing industry the lack of a proper port facility for fish.


Lae Snax Tigers' Charlie Simon named Captain of PMs XIII to play Australia Papua New Guinea Today

Charlie Simon from Lae Snax Tigers will lead as skipper of the newly announced 18 men PMs 13 team that was named this morning in a ceremony witnessed by the Acting Sports Minister Charlie Raminai at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby.
Acting Minister Charlie Raminai at the official team announcement urged the Stanley Tepend coached side "to take pride in the jersey they will wear this weekend against the Kangaroos and perform to their best for the country."
The team was announced by coach Stanley Tepend in front of the PNG Rugby Football League Board and major sponsor National Gaming Control Board (NGCB) Chief Executive Officer Imelda Agon.
PNGRFL chairman Sandis Tsaka said the annual match between Australia and PNG is aimed at driving social messages of Violence against Women and children and strengthens bilateral ties between both countries.
NGCB CEO Imelda Agon said they were happy to support and assist the PNG PMs 13 team host the annual match.

NGCB PNG Prime Ministers XIII team:

1.         Joe Joshua

2.         Brendon Gutono

3.         Stanford Talita

4.         Junior Rau

5.         Karo Kauna Jnr

6.         Jason Missian

7.         Charlie Simon

8.         Junior Rop

9.         Stanley Olo

10.       Dilbert Issac

11.       Tuvi Lepan

12.       Kato Ottio

13.       John Andy

14.       Sailas Gahuna

15.       William Mone

16.       Eddie Daffa

17.       Muka Peter Kulu

18.       Joshua Nani

Coach: Stanley Tepend

Team Management: Steven Nightingale, Roderick Puname, David Westley, Solomon Kulinasi, Leonard Tarum and Tim Rodgers.


NRL must expand comp to include Hunters, says Johns PNG Daily News

September 20, 2017  
Source: The National

RUGBY league personality  Matthew Johns says the NRL is going down the wrong path in terms of expansion and the Papua New Guinea Hunters must be the next team to join the competition.

Cities like Perth and Adelaide are frequently touted as possible locations as part of a strategic plan to grow the sport and plans for a second team in Brisbane has been on the agenda for a decade.
But Johns says the games administrators are guilty of tunnel vision in their pursuit of growth and should be targeting the Hunters as the next team to join the NRL.

The Hunters have been an instant success since their inaugural season in the Queensland Cup in 2014 and are one win away from being crowned this years premiers.
Johns believes the inclusion of the PNG side will revolutionise the NRL like the West Indies did for cricket in the 1980s.


I urge the game to think out of the square, go away from their traditional thinking. We look at the game too narrowly and we look at the Australian continent we keep talking that we want Perth, we want Perth and I get that, Johns said on Triple Ms The Grill Team.
(But) The Pacific Islands, thats where the growth is.

Weve got a situation this weekend in the Queensland Cup, the Sunshine Coast are playing against the PNG Hunters.
It is the most underestimated story in rugby league that the PNG Hunters are in the Queensland Cup grand final, the second best competition in rugby league outside of the NRL I put it on par with the English Super League, it is that strong of a competition.

Last weekend in Port Moresby to get into the game [preliminary final] they were lining up for 24 hours to watch the game.

What are we doing? Whens our plan to bring them in?

They could be the West Indies. The West Indies revolutionised cricket in the 80s and they could do the same thing for rugby league.

Johns played as five-eighth for the Newcastle Knights, playing outside his younger brother Andrew Johns at halfback for nine seasons.

Johns was part of the Australian squad that won the 1995 Rugby League World Cup and went on to play eight matches for his country.



He also played four State of Origin series matches for New South Wales...


Hope for a handful, but fear, despair and limbo for 2000 left behind on Manus/Nauru "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Today up to several dozen people on Manus Island and Nauru look set to be told by the US Government that they will be moved to the United States as part of the US resettlement deal. Refugees have been told the transfers could take place next week but it is unknown exactly if or when others will follow and what the Australian Governments plan is for those left behind.

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, who has visited Manus Island three times to inspect conditions and meet with the men held there, said:

Today, after 4 years of fear and violence and shootings and death, a handful of people finally got some good news. But the tragic reality is that hope for a handful doesn't end the suffering of the 2000 innocent people left behind.

Over 2000 people remain warehoused on Manus and Nauru, 1783 of whom have already been assessed to be refugees. Among these 2000 innocent people are 169 children.

In signing the US deal our government was rightly conceding that it couldn't just abandon people on Nauru and Manus forever. That was an important and long overdue concession. Now, it is our Governments responsibility to make sure not a single person is left behind. Not one life can be abandoned in limbo.

The announcement comes at a dangerous and tense time on Manus Island. The Australian Government is closing the Manus RPC facility around the men it has detained there for the last four years - recently cutting water and electricity to the major compounds - but the men have nowhere safe to go.

Their safety is Malcolm Turnbull's  responsibility, not Donald Trumps. Their lives - their futures - are in Malcolm Turnbull's hands, and he must ensure no one is left behind.

This dark chapter in our history does not close - this painful chapter in their lives does not end - until every single man, woman and child tormented on Nauru and Manus for the last four years is finally safe. Anyone who can't go to America must immediately be brought to safety in Australia, said Mr Webb.

For a handful of families separated by the Australian Governments offshore detention regime, the US deal still offers no way forward.

There are a handful of families ripped apart by offshore detention. Fathers separated from children. Sisters separated from brothers. For them, the US deal won't end their pain. It is not a pathway for their fam...


Intrust Super Cup: PNG Hunters v Sunshine Coast Falcons Grand final team list Papua New Guinea Today

The Papua New Guinea Hunters will play their first ever grand final match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons on this Sunday. The match will by played at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The game will be televised live by Channel Nine in Australia and TV Wan+ in PNG. The game will  also be  live streamed on the internet via the QRL website.

The team lists for the   two teams are:

PNG Hunters

1. Stargroth Amean 2. Wawa Paul 3. Bland Abavu 4. Adex Wera 5. Butler Morris 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Wellington Albert 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Stanton Albert 11. David Loko 12. Nixon Putt 13. Moses Meninga 14. Rahdly Brawa 15. Willie Minoga 16. Enock Maki 17. Brandy Peter 18. Esau Siune

Coach: Michael Marum

Sunshine Coast Falcons

1. Guy Hamilton 2. Matthew Soper-Lawler 3. Justin Olam 4. Christopher Lewis 5. Jeremy Hawkins 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Ryley Jacks 18. Tui Kamikamica 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lachlan Timm 11. Dane Hogan (c) 12. Joe Stimson 13. Harrison Muller 14. Alex Bishop 15. Jye Ballinger 16. Jon Grieve 17. Louis Geraghty 19. Martin Cordwell 20. Liam McDonald

Graphics: QRL/ISC


Papua New Guinea businesses should expect APEC-related income streams from this October Business Advantage PNG

Papua New Guinea businesses should expect income streams from October, as momentum builds towards the APEC Summit in November 2018. The Director-General of the APEC PNG 2018 Coordination Authority, Sir Charles Lepani, told the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Summit in Sydney that towns outside Port Moresby will also benefit.

Artists impression of APEC Haus, currently being constructed near Ela Beach in Port Moresby.

According to Lepani, hotels, small business suppliers and the informal sector should, by October, start to benefit from preparations for next years APEC Leaders Summit in Port Moresby.

Sir Charles Lepani talking about APEC 2018. Source: Business Advantage International

Lepani said the authority needed to manage expectations, noting that it would not change PNG overnight. But he said it would establish a foundation for stronger growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange, and raising PNGs profile.

Already, hotels have been paid for senior delegates accommodation.

We intend to go to tender, or look for, PNG women around the country who make bilums. Each province will make bilums, but not flags, as APEC does not use flags because they are political. We hope to get about 15,000 bilums made by women for each delegate.

Not plastic, which would be thrown away afterwards, but real bilums...


Fiji nurses to go on a strike is a strong possibility - Union Papua New Guinea Today

Nurses in Fiji are confused as to what is the actual salary increase under the new contracts that they are signing and their union says the likelihood for nurses to go on a strike is a strong possibility.

Fiji Nursing Associations General Secretary Salanieta Matiavi says they are hoping to get a clarification from the government as most of the nurses are raising concerns that they are only getting a transitional 5 percent pay increase.

It was announced in the 2017/2018 National Budget that specialised nurses will get salary increases of 25 percent while nurse practitioners will get a 74 percent salary increase.

Matiavi said this has not eventuated and they will be conducting a secret ballot soon to see whether the nurses will go on a strike next month.

When questioned on what will happen to patients in hospitals and health centres if nurses will go on strike, Matiavi said nurses need to be satisfied by the government.

Matiavi said most nurses are not satisfied with the new contracts and they would like to go on strike.

There are over 2,000 nurses in the country and 1,500 nurses are members of the Fiji Nursing Association.

Meanwhile, a strike by members of the Confederation of Public Sector Unions is possible over their disagreement with the civil service reforms being undertaken by Government.

CPSU general secretary Rajeshwar Singh said a secret ballot would be conducted next week to decide on the strike.

The Registrar of Trade Unions has been informed by the four unions. FPSA, FTA, FTU and FNA to supervise the balloting by its staff as per the requirement of ERP, Section 175 (3) (c), he said.

In another development, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has pointed out a number of incompetencies within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.

While conducting the third round of nurses and civil service consultation in Suva Tuesday, he said theres a lack of communication between the Human resources department and its staff.

He said this continues to be an issue across the board and it must be carefully looked into.

The administrative arm of the ministry is obviously not doing as well as it should be. For example in particular some issues that were raised was regarding the issuance of the contract in time, regarding the advertisements of the position as their not giving the response on time. These are some of the issues the ministry of health official and the permanent secretary is obviously...


Fiji praised for taking on Presidency of COP23 Papua New Guinea Today

Fiji's decision to take on the presidency of COP23, the UN negotiations on climate change, has been regarded as a bold move for a small island developing state that is also affected by climate change.

Germany's State Secretary for the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Jochen Flasbarth made the comments today when he joined Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama at a side event at the UN to update preparations for COP23.

In his statement, he linked the possibilities that can be derived from two different nations working together to advance awareness on climate change.

Looking at Fiji, a small island state, less than a million inhabitants, and (whilst) Germany, 80 million people a highly industrialised country I think you cannot think of how different countries have joined in the spirit of Paris (Agreement), we want to mutually find solutions to solve our climate problem.

This is an opportunity, to bring together the world to showcase that it is possible and needed to cooperate between very different countries in the world.

Tuesday's side event was an opportunity for Fiji, Germany and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide a formal information session for interested parties in the lead up to COP23.

At this event, Prime Minister Bainimarama reiterated the importance of working closely with each other to address climate change.

Addressing climate change is at the heart of our common future. This is why the Paris Agreement is so important. We all must continue to create prosperity and to ensure the wellbeing of the nations and ecosystems of the world. To do this, we must work together. There is opportunity for growth in the transformation we must make away from carbon. I have learned of many examples of brilliant innovation in technology that provide hope and excitement.

The UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinosa echoed the statements made by Flasbarth and highlighted the significance of Fiji's presidency in underlying the problems faced by small islands developing states from the threat of climate change.

Prime Minister Bainimarama is leading Fiji's delegation to the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Whilst there, he will also officiate at several climate-related events as incoming President of COP23.



Talking about the laws of war in a peaceful Pacific Papua New Guinea Today

While currently known as a relatively stable part of the world, the Pacific is no stranger to the devastating impacts of conflict. In recent decades both the Solomon Islands and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville have experienced internal strife, while communities in the PNG Highlands continue to deal with the humanitarian consequences of inter-tribal violence.

These conflicts illustrate the necessity for all countries in all regions whether at peace or war to know and support the humanitarian laws designed to put limits on warfare.

For the past three and a half years, Netta Goussac, the ICRC's outgoing legal advisor to the Pacific, has helped increase awareness of international humanitarian law (IHL) across the Pacific, working with governments in countries ranging from Papua New Guinea to Australia to the small island nation of Kiribati.

A former government lawyer, she played a significant role in promoting the ratification and implementation of the Geneva Conventions, its Additional Protocols and other IHL treaties among Pacific Island nations.

Despite the relative peace in the region, Goussac said it's critical that the rules regulating warfare are implemented into domestic legislation: "Efforts to promote the rules that protect civilians in war continue to be important, despite the absence of conflict in the region," she said.

During her time in the region, Goussac assisted Pacific Island nations to reach a number of milestones in terms of IHL.

Earlier this year saw the formation of PNG's national IHL committee, which provides a permanent platform for members to discuss the country's participation in IHL treaties and the local implementation of these laws.

Also, in July, many Pacific States participated in the process to draft and adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This landmark international agreement makes clear that any development, production testing, stockpiling, use or threat to use nuclear weapons is completely unacceptable.

"This as an historic achievement for the Pacific, a region which has suffered from the effects of nuclear testing," Goussac said.

Later in 2017, the ICRC will also co-host the inaugural Pacific Roundtable on IHL, which for the first time provides a dedicated forum for discussions on the laws of war and their importance in the region.

Goussac said she leaves the Pacific with fond memories: I worked with some of the most passionate, intelligent and dedicated government lawyers...


Tourism Arrivals to the Pacific region Up 18.4% in the June Quarter Papua New Guinea Today

Tourist arrivals in the Pacific ACP and SPTO member countries increased by 18.4% in the second quarter of this year when compared to the first quarter.

This increase is in line with the global momentum of tourism growth with international tourist arrivals reaching 6% growth compared to 4.7% in the previous quarter.

The figures were released by SPTO in its Quarter 2 Tourism Arrivals Review this week with comparative analysis over the preceding quarter and the corresponding period of the prior year.

The favourable performance in the June quarter reversed the consecutive decline witnessed in the preceding two quarters in the region. Year to June 2017 arrivals already reached 949,712, up 2.8% over the corresponding six months last year.

The marked turnaround reflected a number of massive tourism promotional campaigns, increased in new air service arrangements and flight schedules and improved tourism infrastructure developments undertaken by most of the major destinations in the region.

Consequently, tourist arrivals to the region accelerated, triggered by strong growth in tourist arrivals to Cook Islands by 47.7%, Solomon Islands 31.6%, Fiji 28.3%, American Samoa 26.5%, Samoa 22%, and Tonga by 13%. Compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016, tourist arrivals to the region also grew by 5.5% with Timor Leste showing the highest growth by 52.2%.

On market shares, Fiji maintained its supremacy as the lead tourism destination in the region with 40.6% share, up from the 36.9% share in the First Quarter of 2017. The second highest, French Polynesia registered an estimated share of 9.1%. This was followed by Cook Islands at 8.2%, PNG 7.7%, Samoa 7.0%, Palau 5.7%, Timor Leste 5.0% and New Caledonia and Vanuatu with estimated share of 5.2% and 4.6%, respectively. The remaining 7.0% was shared among all the other destinations in the region.

Arrivals by major source markets rebounded by 8.6% to 464,256, after two weak quarters. The acceleration of 36,887 arrivals against the previous quarter was underlined by rising arrivals from the Pacifics four leading source markets, Australia by 22%, New Zealand 56.4%, USA 4.2% and Other Asia by 4.7%. Against the same quarter in 2016, arrivals by major source markets to the region however, fell mildly by 0.6% with Europe showing the highest fall by 25.8%.

Australia and New Zealand remained the leading markets for the region in the Second Quarter, with shares of 31.7% and 22.5%, respectively. USA, the third highest source market represented 10.2%, followed by Other Asia at 9.1%, China 7.0% while Europe and Pacific Islands each with shares of 6.5%. The other source markets made up the remaining 6.5% at the end of the Second Quarter.

The June Quarter 2017 publication can be accessed through SPTO RTRC Website. The publication is also distributed to SPTO member countries through Board Members, National Statistics Offices, Nat...


Conditional poultry ban in PNG Papua New Guinea Today

A conditional ban on uncooked poultry imports is in effect, according to the Papua New Guinea Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The latest gazettal to undertake a conditional ban on uncooked poultry imports has already been made official by the National Quarantine Authority (NAQIA) and is in effect since September 12.

The process was completed last Tuesday (September 12), following the signing of instruments by the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Benny Allen on September 8.

The action taken by the ministry will see standards of poultry products entering the country meet the highest of quarantine standards used by New Zealand and adopted in processing poultry imports.

Gazettal number G715 has already been distributed to all major port facilities throughout the country to ensure border authorities adhere to the ministerial direction.

What we have done is that we have distributed this to our ports for them to take note and apply the standard, NAQIA managing director Joel Alu said.

The gazette revoked a previous national gazette made in June this year by the former minister Tommy Tomscoll to allow the importation of foreign poultry products from overseas markets into the country.

Standards currently used by New Zealand are amongst the highest standards in the world.

The actions will see the protection of local poultry producers and protect the country from poultry related risks from entering.

According to the ministry of agriculture and livestock, the local poultry industry produces in a year is 25,000 tonnes of chicken meat, 115,000,000 eggs, and 14,000,000 day old chicks.



Kumul Telikom urgently looking to build undersea cable to Sydney, says Chairman Business Advantage PNG

Mahesh Patel, the chairman of Kumul Telikom, told the Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference that the newly formed entity is urgently looking to build an undersea fibreoptic cable to Sydney. He said the aim is to reduce telecommunications wholesale prices by two-thirds.

Kumul Telikoms Mahesh Patel. Source: Business Advantage International

It has been a bee in my bonnet since I have been Chairman, Patel said of the need to upgrade PNGs oldest connection to the worldwide web, currently sited at Ela Beach in Port Moresby (a second, more modern connection, is sited in Madang).

We should have done it four years ago but that is water under the bridge now. We have chugged along over the last four years looking at various options.

It has come at a time when the economic situation is looking pretty bad. Funds have dried up, so we need to look at various options.

Four years ago, we could have funded it ourselves. We had the capability and capacity financially.


Patel said there is huge urgency to get it startedyesterday. The funding, he said, could come from different sources.

Representatives of PNGs two superannuation funds, Nambawan Super and Nasfund, told the conference they would be interested in investing in the cable.

We have the option of private sector participation, Patel said. The expectations of returns are obviously very high there.

We have the World Bank, who are keen to fund itit is a slow process, but cheap money.

Sydney is very well connected, and we can get it done very quickly.

We have got other private financial institutions who are looking at build, lease and transfer. Again, an expensive model but it can be done quickly. All three options are on the table.

We are looking at going to the Cabinet as early as in the next couple of weeks with a proposal to proceed.


Patel said the focus will be on connecting PNG directly, rather than through other Pacif...


Education standards need to improve to solve Papua New Guinea graduate employment problems, says human resources expert Business Advantage PNG

The education of Papua New Guinea graduates needs to improve, says Scott Roberts, General Manager of human resources firm Rubicor Technical. He tells Business Advantage PNG that it will help address the problems of unemployment and under-employment of graduates.

Rubicors Scott Roberts. Source: Rubicor

Roberts says many graduates enter the market without the right skills to do what employers expect.

Roberts says his firm recently advertised for graduates; he was surprised when about 500 applied.

I was astounded that we had this significant number400 plus, either unemployed or under-employed recent graduates in the market. They were wide-ranging graduates from all the universities across all the disciplines: chemistry, physics, engineers, business, HR.

Many of the students struggle to cope with tertiary class content.

There were large numbers of people whose verbal skills, reasoning skills and numerical reasoning skills were quite poor relative to international graduate comparisons.

It suggests there may be a real mismatch between what the qualification suggests a person can do and what is actually required in the working environment.


Roberts says he would like to see more work done to identify, screen and select better students.

I have anecdotal evidence, from most of the universities that have selected people based on grade point average from grade 12, that many of the students struggle to cope with tertiary class content. They almost need remedial courses before attempting their tertiary studies.

Big companies do their own development and training, but small and medium enterprises usually lack the resources.

We can and should invest in assessment tools to identify these deficiencies. That way, people who do go to uni can participate in tertiary education from day one.

Sure this will cost money, but they cant continue putting out a product that is not appropriate to market needs and expectations. Eventually, it...


Refugees to receive decisions from the US "GroovUs Feed Anews"

A 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.

A 2014 file image of asylum seekers staring at media from behind a fence at the Manus Island detention centre, Papua New Guinea. AAP Image/Eoin Blackwell.


After years in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru, some refugees will soon know whether they will be moving to the US to start a new life.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed on Wednesday US authorities would begin handing out resettlement decisions in the next few days with the first group to leave in coming weeks.

He says the processing of other individuals continues and further decisions by US authorities are expected in due course.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there would be about 25 from each centre in the first wave, with more extreme vetting to follow.

President Trump had some reservations about it but nonetheless, he is honouring the commitment made by his predecessor and I want to thank you for doing so, he told the Seven Network.

Some refugees received appointment slips on Tuesday afternoon.

People are a bit surprised, some people had given up hope that it would happen, Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told AAP.

Right now theyre experiencing anxiety and anticipation.

A document on a notice board on Manus Island warns refugees every case is different and moves through the required process at different speeds.

Please be patient, the US Resettlement Support Centre document says.

It says more decisions will be issued over coming months.

The Manus Island detention centre is slated for closure by the end of October.



People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Copper Business Advantage PNG

A new Director at BSP, senior appointments at Bougainville Copper

Gerea Aopi has retired as a Board Director of Bank South Pacific. He will be replaced by lawyer, Robert Bradshaw. Aopi has served as a board member since the amalgamation of BSP and Papua New Guinea Banking Corporation (PNGBC) in 2002.


Bougainville Copper Limited has confirmed four senior appointments. Justin Rogers has been appointed as Executive Manager for Bougainville, while the companys Buka-based Bougainville Manager is Ephraim Eminoni. Ezekiel Burain and Genevieve Itta have been appointed as Senior Project Officers.

The post People moves: Bank South Pacific, Bougainville Copper appeared first on Business Advantage PNG.


In brief: Construction of industrial zone in Madang will commence soon, says ONeill, and other business stories Business Advantage PNG

Proposed K350m Pacific Marine Industrial Zone to start soon, tuna exports to the EU equal that of Thailand and Philippines, and Supplementary Budget to be rushed through parliament next week. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Prime Minister Peter ONeill reportedly says construction of the proposed Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) project in Madang will commence soon, now that loan funding worth K350 million (US$ 152 million) has been secured. The project will be developed over 215 hectares of land, of which approximately 100 hectares would host canneries and 115 hectares would be for residential and commercial purposes. The Government expects the project will generate 30,000 jobs. Once fully developed, it will house 10 tuna processing plants for tuna caught in PNG and the Pacific.


R D Tunas cannery in Madang. Credit: R D Tuna

The PNG Fishing Industry Association says that, despite the current slump in the economy, the countrys exports of processed tuna to the European market is now almost equal in volume to that of Thailand and the Philippines, according to the Post Courier. It says the tuna industry has been consistently providing an average of 20,000 tonnes to the EU.


Treasurer Charles Abel says the 2017 supplementary budget and 2018 national budget will be rushed through Parliament because time is not on his side. Parliament resumes sitting on September 26. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) Team Leader Thomas Baunsgaard, who is in PNG,...


Scourge of leprosy, a disease of the poor, returns to PNG Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE


PORT MORESBY - Sitting in the car I could see her in the distance running, half limping.

After a while I got out and moved to the front of the vehicle and waited for her.

Rebecca slowed down as she approached but continued towards me. I could see she was excited but, just as she came close, she turned as if to dash away and escape.

I grabbed her and held her close to me.

Rebecca is a 15-year-old girl who lives on the outskirts of Port Moresby.

She is spending her early years living in shame because of her condition.

Growing up with leprosy she can see how she is losing both of her feet and her right hand.

She is worrying about being deformed. She understands the implications of her predicament and lives in shame.

Leprosy and poverty feed off each other. In places where leprosy is widespread, there is often unbearable poverty. Where there is leprosy it is not hard to see disability but it is not only in the hands and feet, it affects the eyes.

Globally, Papua New Guinea is considered to be a poor country (two in five people live in poverty) and it is not hard to find people living with leprosy in these statistics. In fact the incidence of the disease is on the increase.

PNG boasts of its modern infrastructure development but there is a group of people who will never have the opportunity to benefit from these services because of their physical condition.

These people continue to live without proper nutrition, without clean water and in crowded conditions prominent factors leading to the re-emergence of leprosy.

In Papua New Guinea leprosy was announced as being successfully eliminated in 2000 however, in recent years, we have seen it resurface in Western, Gulf, Central and Sandaun provinces and in the National Capital District.

The World Health Organisation reports that at the end of the first quarter of 2017, 356 new leprosy cases were recorded. Off this 140 were women and 89 children.

If not treated leprosy causes significant disability in hands, feet and eyes. The good thing for PNG is that the medicine to cure it is available free.

However not all people are aware of the disease and those who have been diagnosed often do not take their medicine. In many cases the one kina for a clinic book or a bus ride to the nearest health cent...


KTF project has retrained over 1,200 elementary teachers Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

TESS GIZORIA | Kokoda Track Foundation Dr Nelson awards a certificate to a graduate

LORENGAU - Fifty-seven elementary teachers from Manus Province have received certificates of elementary teaching after completing the Teach for Tomorrow project delivered by the Kokoda Track Foundation, the Papua New Guinea Education Institute and the Manus Provincial Department of Education.

The certificate enables partially trained teachers some 7,500 across PNG to upgrade their qualifications to meet the PNG governments changes to the minimum qualifications required of elementary teachers.

Without the additional six weeks training, the teachers would no longer be employable, putting at risk the schooling of hundreds of thousands of students.

The training, delivered in facilities hosted by the MBunai community, gave the 57 teachers the skills, knowledge and qualifications to be registered as fully certified teachers, eligible to be on the governments payroll.

Hubert PosingManus is the sixth province in which KTF has delivered Teach for Tomorrow which has trained 330 teachers in Oro Province, 37 in Gulf, 120 in Milne Bay, 540 in Morobe and 168 in Bougainville.

Once again, it has been an extraordinary partnership with the PNG Education Institute, the National Department of Education and the Manus Provincial Department of Education, said Dr Genevieve Nelson, CEO of KTF.

The teachers have been waiting for this training for many years and are now eligible for full certification and transfer to the government payroll.

The teachers participated in a graduation celebration last Friday in the presence of family and friends from the MBunai community, taking the total number of teachers trained by KTF to 1,252.

KTF will c...


Govt removes critical powers from proposed corruption watchdog Act Now! blogs

The government has amended draft legislation for an Independent Commission Against Corruption to remove some of its most critical powers and open the doors to political interference. This watering down of the powers of the ICAC means the government will be creating exactly the kind of 'toothless monster' the Secretary for Justice warned about in his letter to the media published on the 18th of September.

The governments changes were announced at a UPNG Seminar last week, by the Minister for Justice, Davis Stevens. He said, the government has removed the ICACs powers of arrest and prosecution and placed the Prime Minister in charge of the appointments process for the Commissioners.

ACT NOW! has been leading the campaign for the ICAC to be established with the governments first 100 days, and has collected more than 2,000 signatures on its petition, but is dismayed at the governments changes.

Denying the ICAC full powers of arrest and prosecution means it will not be able to act independently and effectively to investigate, prosecute and ensure those guilty of corruption are punished.

Instead the ICAC investigators will be dependent on other agencies like the police and public prosecutor to ensure their findings are acted upon. This has been one of the weaknesses in the existing anti-corruption bodies as police and public prosecutor are already overwhelmed, under funded and subject to political interference.

Over the past twenty years there have been numerous Commissions of Inquiry that have recommended dozens of people be prosecuted for misusing and stealing public funds, but time and again the police and public prosector have failed to follow up. The new ICAC should not be adopting this failed system.

The governments proposed ICAC will be as toothless as the Commissions of Inquiry it is supposed to improve on!

It is essential the ICAC is fully independent of other government agencies and full funded to investigate, charge and prosecute those accused of corruption.

ACT NOW! is also critical of the governments failure to publish a full copy of the draft legislation and its intention to put the Prime Minister in charge of the panel appointing the Commissioners.

The people of PNG deserve and demand better!


BCL says return will give impetus to sectors other than mining Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Justin (Ted) RogersKEITH JACKSON

BUKA - Bougainville Copper Ltd says it considers the development of primary industries and tourism as critical to Bougainvilles future economic success, and says employment is a fundamental objective.

In terms of our efforts as a company in mineral resources, we are certainly looking to complement other sectors and provide impetus for them to prosper and grow, BCLs executive manager Justin (Ted) Rogers said as the company made a high profile return to Arawa in central Bougainville.

The visit by the four-person team from 5-8 September coincided with the National Boxing Championships which BCL sponsor and the 2017 Bougainville Chocolate Festival.

The group also included Buka-based Bougainville manager Ephraim Eminoni and recently appointed senior project officers, Ezekiel Burain and Genevieve Itta.

It met with a local stakeholders as BCL builds community support for the implementation of its redevelopment plan for a new Panguna mine.

Meetings were held with landowner association leaders from the project area, representatives of the Panguna New Generation Leaders group, women representatives from Ioro 2 and Pakia villages, leaders of the Upper Tailings and Port Mine Access Road populations as well as officials from the Arawa Football Association.

Mr Rogers said the local stakeholders welcomed the opportunity to meet with the members of the BCL team.

We are actively building positive relationships and will continue to increase our presence in central Bougainville over the coming months as we expand our community engagement activities, he said.

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