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Saturday, 13 October

21:39

New Satellite System to increase internet connectivity in PNG Papua New Guinea Today

PNGs new satellite internet system, which will increase PNGs internet capacity by approximately 30 percent, was officially opened on October 11.

The critical investment by Australia saw its Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, join PNGs Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, yesterday for the event.

Payne said the new system will benefit Papua New Guineans by reducing barriers to learning, improving private sector capacity and fostering job creation in the long term.

In the near term, the project will boost connectivity for APEC meetings in Port Moresby in November, she stated.

This investment is an important component of Australias broader internet connectivity support that includes the Coral Sea Cable System, which will connect Port Moresby and Sydney by a new fibre optic cable scheduled for delivery by late 2019.

Australia and Papua New Guinea have committed to working closely together to support the development of PNGs information and communications technology sector over the next 15 to 20 years.

(Australias Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne, right, watching a young Manus dancer in action)

Read more on  PNG Technology site : PNG eHow

21:33

Three Australian Army Blackhawk Helicopters Pass Through Rockhampton Airport Heading to PNG "IndyWatch Feed Qld"

During a stormy Saturday 13 October, three Australian Army Sikorsky S-70A-9 Blackhawk helicopters were noted passing through Rockhampton Airport while heading to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

File photo

They arrived from the South separately as "Centurion 62", "Centurion 61" (as shown below) and "Centurion 63".  


After taking on fuel, all three - which were sadly not able to be identified - departed together under the one radio callsign of "Centurion" and looked to head West to avoid weather before later landing at Townsville.

The Blackhawks are all flown by the Australian Army's 171st Aviation Squadron (forming part of the 6th Aviation Regiment) based at Holsworthy Barracks near Sydney.  It is believed they are ultimately heading to Papua New Guinea which is hosting the forthcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.

21:13

PNG government under fire over APEC Maserati fleet Papua New Guinea Today

The Papua New Guinea government is facing a community backlash over the purchase of 40 luxury Maserati sedans to ferry APEC leaders around Port Moresby next month, while the country struggles to pay school teachers and deal with a worsening polio outbreak.

As APECs poorest member state gears up to host the biggest event in its history, with at least $130 million (US$92,599) in support from Australia, locals have also expressed alarm at the installation of new Chinese-funded surveillance cameras across the city.

The Maserati Quattroporte cars, which cost between $210,000 (US$149,000) and $345,000 (US$245,000) each, were delivered to Port Moresby this week from Milan, Italy, on two privately chartered Boeing 747 cargo planes.

The vehicles are equipped with V6 Ferrari engines but will struggle to reach their top speed of 240km on Port Moresbys often potholed roads, which have a maximum 80kmh speed limit.

PNGs Minister for APEC Justin Tkatchenko said the Maseratis had been pre-sold to private sector buyers who would take the vehicles off the governments hands after the summit.

Of course we have paid a deposit to get everything here but all costs will be totally reimbursed and there will be no burden at all to the government at the end of the day. They are selling like hotcakes, Tkatchenko told The Australian.

Its not as though we are going out of our way to show off or be stupid. We just want to make sure the vehicles we purchase are not a burden to the government after the event.

But the purchase has sparked a furious response from PNG community activists.

Prominent PNG blogger Martyn Namarong questioned whether private buyers in PNG would have the money to purchase the $12 million (US$8.5 million) fleet, amid an ongoing foreign currency crisis brought about an artificially high exchange rate.

The private sector has been unable to buy machines and other equipment because of difficulties in getting foreign currency. So its hard to see how they can buy 40 Maseratis, Namarong said.

I never heard about a Maseratis until they arrives in PNG. We cannot maintain our very hardy Toyota vehicles so its hard to see how we will maintain these Maseratis.

He said everyday Papua New Guineans were becoming increasingly angry over the governments APEC expenditure, which some have linked to unexplained pay cuts for the nations teachers.

PNG is also in the midst of a health crisis, with an outbreak of polio claiming the life at least one child, and high rates of TB infection in many provinces including the National...

21:05

New Zealand Kiwis stun Australian Kangaroos 26 - 24 Papua New Guinea Today

Kiwis celebrate a try. NRL Photo 
New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak declared that the Kiwis would only continue to improve as they begun a new era for international football by inflicting the first defeat in Mal Meninga's tenure as Australian coach.

Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson led his team to their first win over the Kangaroos since the 2015 Anzac Test, while debutants Joseph Manu and Brandon Smith were among the stars in the 26-24 win at Mt Smart Stadium.

It was the first Test for Australia since Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk stood down from representative football and the retirement of Billy Slater and Johnathan Thurston, with just eight members of the Kangaroos team which won last year's World Cup playing in Auckland.

However the Kiwis also had a new-look team, with Watene-Zelezniak making his debut as captain and Manu and Smith joining the new players blooded in June's Denver Test against England.

The win is a boost for the game in New Zealand after the disappointment of a World Cup campaign in which they suffered back-to-back losses to Tonga and Fiji and were eliminated in the quarter-finals.

However, Watene-Zelezniak said the Kiwis still had a lot of work to do and would benefit from the upcoming Test series against England.

"It feels so surreal," Watene-Zelezniak said. "We are still building, We have only set the foundations now but we have to keep building.

"Everyone was just on. We were a bit shaky at times but we this is just the beginning.

"That's what we came here for to give the fans.

"I think we take a lot of confidence. We have got some work to do but we are on the right track."

The Kiwis dominated the first half for all but the opening three minutes and the last 60 seconds but Australia led 12-8 at the interval following an early try to Valentine Holmes and another by Dane Gagai just before the siren.

Holmes's 12th try in his last four Test appearances struck fear into the hearts of New Zealand fans that the new look Kangaroos would be just as dominant as previous versions, after rookie centre Latrell Mitchell drew Jordan Rapana to create an overlap for the Cronulla star over in the third minut...

13:59

PNG Governments censor film on Australian developer takeover "IndyWatch Feed Nsw"

[Video inside] An internationally acclaimed film of Paga Hill communitys fight for justice from the illegal eviction and demolition of their homes in downtown Port Moresby has been banned from screening today at the PNG Human Rights Festival. It is known as 'The Opposition Film'. See trailer and details of showings here. There is a lot of Australian involvement in this disgraceful powerplay, including NSW court system and Australian developers. However, what is happening in PNG is also happening to Australians, who mostly fail to realise that they are also being treated and exploited like a 'developing country'.

The ban highlights the lingering limits on free speech in our country and the continued attempts to censor our story of resistance against gross human rights violations [1], claimed Paga Hill leader Joe Moses, the main character in The Opposition film who had to seek exile in the United Kingdom after fighting for his communitys rights.[2],[3]

This censorship comes as a deep disappointment for my community who have suffered greatly over the past 6 years.

The Opposition film tells the David-and-Goliath battles of a community evicted, displaced, abandoned their homes completely demolished at the hands of two Australian-run companies, Curtain Brothers and Paga Hill Development Company, and the PNG state. What was once home to 3000 people of up to four generations, Paga Hill is now part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit AELM Precinct which will take place this November.[4],[5]

Mr. Moses continued, We appreciate the PNG Human Rights Film Festival for choosing to screen The Opposition film at their Madang and Port Moresby screenings.

It is shameful that our government continues to limit free speech and put such pressure on our countrys only annual arts and human rights event. How does this make us look to the world leaders who will be coming here for the APEC meeting in November?

Under the theme Tokautnau long senisim tumora" (Speak up today to change tomorrow) the mission of the PNG Human Rights Film Festival includes We are all born free and equal in dignity and rights and that the international and local human rights films promote increased respec...

09:25

Nautilus are you nuts! Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

 
Sccop NZ |12 October 2018

The United States Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck close to the proposed Solwara 1 deep sea mine in Papua New Guinea yesterday at 7am local time. This follows a magnitude 6.6 quake nearby in March.

07:21

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06:00

Papua New Guinea - you do not need Maseratis Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Maserati
"PNG doesnt need a squadron of expensive cars to prove anything. It doesnt need a flash conference centre on an artificial island and it doesnt need a horde of five star hotels to impress anyone"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The purchase of 40 very expensive Italian motorcars to be used for a few days during APEC and then sold off seems to be an incredibly stupid and callous act on the part of the Papua New Guinean government.

It makes you wonder what they are trying to prove with such unabashed extravagance.

Maserati eh! Emi samting nating, olgeta man meri blong PNG save raun long dispel kain kar. Ol tisa, dokta na olgeta raun olosem, pasin blong mipela tasol.

["Nah, Maserati! They're nothing, everyone in PNG travels in this kind of vehicle. Teachers, doctors, everyone travels like this, it's the way we do things here."]

Perhaps more than anything else, this episode aptly illustrates the irrationality and chaos that characterises Papua New Guinean politics and governance.

Is it any wonder that democracy and the Westminster system of government has failed so miserably in such a place?

When logic and order comes up against the irrational and the chaotic it stands no chance at all.

Not that logic and order dont have their own problems, especially if they are overdone like we in the west tend to do.

Running a country that is based on irrationality and chaos by trying to impose on it the sort of regimentation that passes for governance in the west doesnt sound like a very good idea at all.

Its a pity we didnt realise this before 1975.

When the vast majority of people in Papua New Guinea get up in the morning they probably have only a vague idea about what they are going to do for the rest of the day.

Go to the garden? Try a bit of fishing? Laze about in the sun? Who knows? Let the day decide. Whatever needs doing will get done, one way or another.

Contrast that to someone in the west. Wake at precisely 6am, wolf down a hasty breakfast, get to the office at 9am, check t...

05:00

Multi-million kina Maserati fleet for APEC raises questions Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Maserati loading
The Maseratis with their V6 Ferrari engines will struggle to reach their top speed of 275 kph on Port Moresbys roads. They can hit 100 kph in five seconds

KEVIN PONNIAH | BBC News

LONDON - Papua New Guinea's government is under scrutiny for importing 40 luxury Maserati cars from Italy for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

The Quattroporte sedans, which cost more than $100,000 each (K325,000), will be used by foreign leaders.

Media and activists have questioned if the poor Pacific country has wasted millions.

But the government says the private sector has "committed" to paying.

APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the cars would "provide the level of carriage for leaders that is the standard for vehicles used at APEC summits".

Pictures of the cars arriving at Port Moresby airport on chartered cargo planes were shared on social media and sparked concern that taxpayer money was being wasted on the lavish purchase.

Mr Tkatchenko told The Australian newspaper that some money had been paid by the government as "a deposit to get everything here" but that the cars were "selling like hotcakes" and would not end up as a government burden.

He has not revealed how much the government has already spent on the cars nor who might be buying them and at what cost.

Prime minister Peter O'Neill has also insisted that the government "will not be out of any funds".

Chinese president Xi Jinping and US vice-president Mike Pence are both expected to attend the high-profile regional gathering, which takes place next month.

Keith Jackson, a blogger on PNG issues, told the BBC that the cars were part of an effort by leaders to project an image of "sophistication" ahead of the summit, including prettying up the capital, Port Moresby, with new roads and buildings.

"And this all at a time when infectious diseases like polio, TB and malaria have re-emerged in the country, school teachers are not being paid and the bulk of its eight million peo...

00:18

Australia gives another A$6 million for polio in PNG Malum Nalu

By Senator the Hon Marise Payne
Minister for Foreign Affairs
 Australia 

 The Australian Government will provide a further $6 million to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to support the Government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to respond to the current polio outbreak.

In June 2018, the PNG Government declared a national public health emergency in response to confirmed cases of polio virus.

The PNG Government, along with key partners including GPEI, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) have developed an outbreak response plan that includes mass vaccination rounds.

Australias contribution to GPEI will support the delivery of PNGs polio response plan.

PNG is our closest neighbor, and a strong response is needed to protect both PNGs and Australias health security.

Routine immunisation remains the most effective prevention for highly infectious diseases including polio.

The Australian Government is committed to the vital work of global polio eradication and has contributed $104 million to support the work of GPEI since 2011.

Friday, 12 October

22:59

Link NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE

Halia Elections Civil
New Dawn FM News
121018

A candidate in the Halia Constituency By-elections has praised the civil manner in which the campaign is being carried out.

Bordger Semoso is campaigning for the Halia Seat and he is calling for his people to prepare for referendum comes June 15 2019.

He says the challenge is that the people of the constituency lack knowledge about the Bougainville referendum.

He says the referendum will take place next year and the people do not know much about it.

He reveals that as the referendum target date approaches people still do not know what the referendum is

Mr Semoso is a candidate for the Halia Constituency seat box number 10.

He is optimistic about wining the seat and believes he is the right man to prepare his people for next year.

Ends

22:58

Link NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE

Momis Happy with JSB
New Dawn FM News
121018

Self-determination has been a perennial problem in Papua New Guinea and Bougainville ever since first Bougainvilleans decided to secede from Papua New Guinea.
ABG President Chief Dr John Momis says that Bougainvileans have struggle for a long time to exercise their right to self-determination.
President Moms says the progress achieved in this JSB augurs well for both Bougainville and PNG.
He says Bougainvilleans for the first time would be given the right and freedom to actively participate in development through the referendum.
President Momis says Bougainville stands on threshold of a new socio-economic and political order that will define its future.
He adds that with a joint effort a good and democratic outcome can be achieved if the process has integrity by fully implementing the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
The President also extended gratitude to officials on both government for their tireless efforts in resolving issues pertinent to next years referendum.
President Momis said this was the beginning of good things to come in the future.

Ends////

22:57

Link NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE

JSB Hailed a Success
New Dawn FM News
121018

The special Joint Supervisory Body has been hailed a success to find a way forward for Bougainville to lasting peace.
Prime Minister Peter ONeil says this is a great moment for Papua New Guinea in resolving all outstanding issues especially the referendum.
The Prime Minister also thanked ABG President Chief Dr John Momis and his delegation for their commitment and willingness to collaborate with the National Government.
He has also lauded the finalised question to be asked during the referendum vote
The Prime Minister has also assured President Momis and the people of Bougainville of the commitment by the National Government to go through the steps to ensure that there is a free and fair referendum.
He says he the National Government want Bougainvilleans to have their say in determining their future.
The JSB will reconvene on the third week of January 2019.

Ends////

22:56

Link NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE

Referendum Question Approved
New Dawn FM News
121018

The implementation of the Referendum to decide Bougainvilles ultimate political fate has reached another momentous milestone with the approval of the Question to be asked during the referendum.
The Questions to be asked will be placed on ballot papers during the referendum vote for Bougainvilleans to decide whether to secede or continue to remain as a part of PNG.
The question has been simplified to Do you agree for Bougainville to have, option one Greater Autonomy or option two Independence.
During the referendum vote the ballot papers will be printed both in English and Tok Pisin.
The Joint Supervisory Body has agreed that this question is simple and easy to understand by the average Bougainvillean during the referendum vote.
The JSB was adjourned from yesterday to today because both the ABG and National Government were not satisfied with the structure of the question.
Both governments have since agreed to this question and have endorsed its use in the referendum vote ballot papers.

Ends////

22:26

BSPS Mead presents beautification project winners Papua New Guinea Today

Gerehu Secondary School was awarded top prize for their BSP School Beautification Project.

The School Beautification Project initiated by Bank South Pacific, saw the participation of nine (9) schools in the National Capital District (NCD). It was aimed at engaging students to be responsible for the environment by demonstrating the Go Green theme, Rethink, Recycle, Reuse.


Gerehu Secondary School was awarded the top prize, with their stunning creativity in designing old tyres around their classroom as flower beds and decorations whilst Marianville came close enough with their recycled craft of broken glasses and plastic bottles.

Both schools were treated to a surprise visit on Tuesday 9th October,when BSP Brand Ambassador David Mead paid a visit to present the awards.
Mead who captained the PNG Kumuls last weekend, was pleased with the response from students who participated in the Go Green Beautification project.

Taking care of the environment is everyones responsibility. Teaching the right values of respect and care the environment, builds better citizens,


 The school beautification project, not only gets students to recycle and reuse, it gets students to be considerate about how they dispose of used items and rubbish, said Mead.

This is the first year for the Bank to run the School Beautification Project.Participating Schools were challenged take part in one of two categories,Beautifying & Landscaping in School or Arts & Craft using recycling materials to promote sustainability and beautification of the environment.



In the Primary Category, KilaKila Primary School snatched the first place whilst runner-up went to New Erima Primary. 

The wining schools for both Secondary and Primary were presented with K3, 000 cheques respectively whilst the runner-up claimed K2, 000 each.

The Go Green program is something I am very much interested in outside of Rugby League so it was nice to be a partof it in delivering some messages to the winning schools.

Mead also took time out to answer questions from students and shared his experienced of playing footy in the professional level before taking photos with teachers and students.

22:13

Dafa to captain PNG U23 Residents against NSW U23 Papua New Guinea Today

Enga Mioks back rower Eddie Dafa will captain the PNG U23 Residents side this weekend in the inaugural clash against New South Wales Under 23 Country in Port Moresby. Dafa who hails from Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands Province will be assisted by Lae Snax Tigers five eighth Edwin Ipape, originally from Tari in the Southern Highlands Province. Goroka Lahanis premiership winning coach Glen Nami who is assistant to Head Coach Stanley Tepend made the announcement at training today when naming the starting line- up.

The team is:

1. Jah HOGAN

2. Eliakim LUKARA

3. Brandon NIMA

4. Stanford TALITA

5. Norman BROWN

6. Edwin IPAPE - Vice Captain

7. Mark TONY

8. Kingston PAUL

9. Woods KAWAGE

10. Joejoe WALLAMES

11. Emmanual WAINE

12. Eddie DAFA - Captain

13. Missach WELEN

Interchange

14. Nicky HASU

15. Muka PETER KALU

16. Casey DICKSON

17. Levai ANDREW

18. Kenedy BEN

Coach: Stanley TEPEND

Gates at the Oil Search National Football open at 11am on Sunday October 14, 2018. The 1st curtain Raiser at 12 noon will see National Womens champions Southern Confederate take on an Australian Defence Force womens side.

At 1.00pm the Australian Defence Force Mens team will play the Southern Confederate side.

The main game between PNG U23 Residents and NSW Country 23 kicks off at 3.00pm.

20:44

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19:06

Link NEW DAWN ON BOUGAINVILLE

121018 JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT AFTER END OF JSB
New Dawn FM News

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, the Hon. Peter ONeill and President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, the Hon. Dr John Momis today reaffirmed their joint commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

Meeting in Port Moresby as part of a special meeting of the Joint Supervisory Body (JSB), the two leaders discussed broad ranging issues associated with the upcoming referendum.

The two leaders noted the importance of ensuring that the referendum is free and fair, and conducted in full accordance with the Constitution and Peace Agreement. Both the Prime Minister and the President agreed that it was essential that people understand the choice to be put, and the process to be followed once the referendum has taken place.

The meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, former Prime Minister of Ireland, the Hon. Bertie Ahern. Mr Ahern indicated his honour at being appointed as Chairman and committed to working with both governments to ensure that the referendum is conducted freely and fairly.

Leaders noted the work undertaken to date by officials to prepare for the referendum and endorsed a proposed budget of K34 million for the coming year. Prime Minister ONeill undertook to ensure that the budget was incorporated into the 2019 national budget when it is handed down later this year.

It was agreed that the question to be put at the referendum would clearly outline the process to be followed after the referendum takes place and would be accompanied by a comprehensive awareness campaign (refer attachment).

Leaders agreed to meet again in the third week of January 2019 in Port Moresby at a full meeting of the JSB where further updates would be provided on referendum preparations and associated work to advance peace in Bougainville.

Ends

JSB PROPER 121018 021

16:54

Citizens react in anger as govt tries to explain Maserati purchase Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

2018 Maserati Quattroporte
2018 Maserati Quattroporte S GranLusso Sedan

HELEN DAVIDSON | The Guardian | Extracts

SYDNEY - Papua New Guineans have reacted with anger at its government importing a fleet of Maseratis to drive international delegates around the APEC conference next month, amid a health and poverty crisis, struggling economy, and ongoing efforts after a devastating earthquake.

The PNG government has defended its decision, expressing confidence that all 40 luxury cars will be bought by the private sector after the two-day event, leaving the government with no financial burden.

The cars, which cost between $200,000 and $350,000 each in Australia, were flown in from Milan on two Boeing 747-8F charter planes this week, with the costs covered by the private sector, according to the minister for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko.

Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered, and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector, he said.

Having vehicles paid for by the private sector is the smartest way to have use of the vehicles for APEC at no overall cost to the state.

Tkatchenko dismissed the backlash, saying the government had only paid a deposit believed to be around K40m for the cars, which would be reimbursed by private citizens who had expressed interest in buying them after APEC.

Of course we have paid a deposit to get everything here but all costs will be totally reimbursed and there will be no burden at all to the government at the end of the day, he told News Corp. They are selling like hotcakes.

Powes Parkop, governor of the national capital district, said the expensive cars were a way of showing PNGs deepest appreciation for visiting leaders.

The 40 cars are the only Maseratis to ever be brought to PNG. The cars were delivered in the same week that landowners protested outside a government department, calling for outstanding compensation claims to be paid before the conference begins.

PNG has some of the worlds highest rates of violence against women, maternal deaths, malnourishment, and s...

15:00

Historic waste: Papua New Guineas govt lambasted for importing 40 Maseratis for APEC summit "IndyWatch Feed World"

Papua New Guineas government has faced an intense backlash for importing a fleet of 40 Maserati luxury sedans to drive international delegates around at the upcoming two-day APEC conference... However, speeds are limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) on the countrys roads which have fallen into disrepair in recent years. In the more mountainous regions, off-road vehicles are required, making the luxury sedans an impractical choice for world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US Vice-President Mike Pence.

13:27

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12:31

Pacific agricultural visa controversy reignites as Australia dithers Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

SWP
Australia's seasonal worker program, highly valued in PNG & the Pacific, under threat as politicians dither

STEPHEN HOWES & SACHINI MULLER | DevPolicy Blog

Read here the complete story of the background to this imbroglio

CANBERRA - After a period of relative quiet, reporting on the agricultural visa proposal has picked up again.

Nationals leader and deputy prime minister Michael McCormack was asked about it on Sky last weekend. On 8 October, Matt Coughlan of AAP reported McCormack as saying, Well be addressing that as a government. Well be coming up with a plan to solve the problem and well be doing that very soon.

That sounded positive for the ag visa, as was the title of Coughlans article Foreign farm worker scheme edging closer but in fact the article continued in a more negative vein:

Hopes of an agricultural visa are fading after tensions within the Coalition over the issue. Immigration minister David Coleman is in charge of looking for a solution, with one potential option being extending existing seasonal worker programs.

The ABCs Stephen Dziedzic was also negative. He suggested on Twitter that McCormack seemed to hedge slightly when asked if the Coalition will unveil an agriculture visa before summer- Well, lets hope so. Absolutely. Because we need to work on it. Scott Morrison is fully cognisant of the fact we have a shortfall of workers [on Sky].

The ABC has had another go on the issue with detailed reports on 9 October on PM and ABC Rural. Some farmers (including Ian Quinn, the mango farmer and ag visa protagonist) and farmer groups (AusVeg) called for a new visa.

Farmer Andrew Bulmer called for workers for three years: something that is actually now possible under the Pacific Labour Scheme.

A lot of the farmers complaints are about the paperwork asso...

09:49

Villagers fight with high powered guns over promised Frieda river mine benefits Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

The Frieda River project is 70kms south of the Sepik River on the border of the Sanduan and East Sepik Provinces of Papua New Guinea some 500kms upriver from the coast.

Clifford Fairparik | The National aka The Loggers Times | October 11, 2018

Fighting has broken out between villagers in East Sepik over customary boundaries to claim benefits from Frieda River mine, says provincial police commander Robert Gesa.

He said villagers from Timbunke and Korogu along the Sepik River fought with high-powered guns after arguing over customary land boundaries when learning that a team from Mineral Resources Authority was conducting awareness about the mine.

Gesa said a police taskforce has been deployed from Wewak was deployed to monitor the fight.

The fight broke out after MRA officers had conducted awareness along the river communities from Ambunti district down the river to Murik Lakes at the rivers delta, he said.

From reports that I had received, fighting between Korogu and Timbunke villages was over t...

09:18

Fiji govt needs to ensure people understand environmental impacts of mining Papua New Guinea Mine Watch

Peter Loy Chong. Photo: Pacific Theological College

The majority of the people are not aware of the full consequences of mining, logging, stone extraction, black sand mining and how these will impoverish their food bank, he said.

Fiji govt needs to walk the talk archbishop

Radio New Zealand |10 October 2018 

The Fiji government should ensure environmental policies at home reflect the climate messages it promotes abroad, Fijis Catholic archbishop says.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been championing the fight against global warming as president of the current UN climate round, the COP23.

But the archbishop, Peter Loy Chong, said the governments policies needed to be consistent with the proposals it touted during COP23.

Current government policy did too little to protect landowners, the archbishop said.

...

08:55

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08:25

Scepticism surrounds ministers cancellation of land leases Keith Jackson & Friends: PNG ATTITUDE

Eddie Tanago
Eddie Tanago - government must detail its actions on cancelling illegal land leases

EDDIE TANAGO | Campaign Coordinator | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - Community advocacy group ACT NOW! has called on Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko to name the Special Agriculture Business Leases he claims have been cancelled.

For the last five years we have heard numerous false claims and unfulfilled promises from the government about the cancellation of the leases.

While we welcome the information released by the minister, the pubic simply cannot trust his numbers and he must reveal the names of the leases and other details.

The minister stated on social media that, of 53 Special Agriculture Business Leases reviewed, 34% have been cancelled through voluntary surrender, 2% cancelled through consent or court order and 12% referred for further verification.

However, the numbers reported in various other media are different and contradictory. TV-WAN for example has published a table showing 68 leases have been reviewed.

The minister needs to publish a full list of the SABL leases with their names, portion numbers, locations and size, and identify those that have already been cancelled, those recommended to be cancelled, those that have been surrendered and those whose files are missing.

The minister says 53 leases have been reviewed but there were 77 that were investigated by the Commission of Inquiry, so what about the additional 24 leases?

These are leases that affect customary land and the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people.

We all have a right to know the details of which leases the minister is talking about and he should not be trying to hide the facts or confuse the public.

08:05

CONSPIRING TO DEFRAUD STATE WAGHI MEK PLANTATIONS LIMITED PNGBLOGS

by TEINE KOROKOI
Waghi Mek Plantations Limited was by far the single biggest Coffee Exporter between 1976-1989 when it ceased operations due to landowner disputes. It spans 11 plantations form North Waghi into South Waghi in the Jiwaka Province. The company is owned by North Waghi LLG (37.5%), South Waghi LLG (37.5%) and Hunter Richard Hagon (25%). There have been many attempts to revive the plantations to no avail.

During the National Alliance led government, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare allocated K2 Million to Waghi Mek Plantations for rehabilitation exercise but disappeared in the swamps of Waghi Valley. A clever move led a Wilfred Gurika and Waldam Association received the K2 million, registered a Company called Waghi Mek Plantations Holdings and laughed all the way to the bank.

This year, Hon. Richard Maru has committed K20 for the rehabilitation of Waghi Mek Plantations Limited. Jiwaka Provincial Government (JPG) does not own any shares in the company nor is a party to any willing and dealings of the company, quickly seizes the opportunity and convenes a meeting without the consent or participation of the rightful shareholders and directors of the company and appoints a Paul Tumun to the Managing Director. Mr....

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