Category Archives: Regional

PM O’Neill Arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit

**** – Key Focus is on Enhancing Growth in Developing Economies ****

Apec - vietname2

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has arrived in the city of Da Nang, in Viet Nam, for the 2017 APEC Leaders’ Summit.
On his arrival, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the APEC policy agenda that will help boost growth in key sectors of the Papua New Guinea economy.
“APEC is an important forum for growth and development in our region, and in the coming year will be even more important for Papua New Guinea when we host Leaders from around the region.
“The whole focus of the APEC Leaders’ Week is to strengthen our capacity to trade and to grow our economies.
“Through APEC we have the opportunity to generate more business, and that in turn creates more jobs.
“As a developing economy in APEC, Papua New Guinea also has the opportunity to strengthen capacity and skills in key sectors around the country.
“APEC is more than a single meeting each year, but it has a broad agenda covering agriculture, fisheries, women in the economy, transport and many other sectors that are vital for Papua New Guinea’s growth.
“Ultimately our work through APEC in these sectors is delivering direct benefits for our people.
“This APEC meeting will have a strong focus on adopting better digital technologies.
“For Papua New Guinea, expanding into the digital age, particularly for remote and rural communities is very important.”
The week-long series of APEC meetings also includes the 2017 APEC CEO Summit at which the Prime Minister will deliver an address.
“We have a number of Papua New Guinea business leaders who have come to Vietnam with our delegation.
“At the APEC CEO Summit our business representatives will be working to build better links with companies in Viet Nam and around the region.”
The Prime Minister is accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Rimbink Pato MP, and APEC Minister, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko MP.

Govt Confident in APEC 2018

BY LEONNIE WAYANG ( Post Courier )

Chief Secretary to the Government Isaac Lupari says he is satisfied with the preparations for APEC 2018.

Mr Lupari said last week that PNG is on track in terms of security, accommodation and logistics for APEC 2018.

“We are very much on track, and we are pleased with the efforts undertaken by our police and our security forces in collaboration with bilateral countries like Australia; big support coming through Australian Government, also the US,” Mr Lupari said.

“We’ve also had the same with New Zealand but the new inclusion in the security operation is now the Indonesian Government.”

He said the Indonesian government will bring forth “an extensive wealth of experience” as they have also hosted the APEC meeting.

“We’re pooling all these countries to making sure that we are ticking all the boxes that are required in terms of making sure that the security arrangement is as good as any other organisation in terms of APEC meetings around the world,” Mr Lupari said.

He added that various ministerial meetings like the recent APEC Transportation Ministerial Meeting will provide the opportunity for PNG to test its security preparedness leading up to the APEC 2018 summit.

“One of the opportunities for us to try and test the security readiness that we’ve put in place is the regular meetings that we’re going to have at the ministerial level,” he said.

He said that although he is satisfied with the progress, there is still more to do.

“We will deliver APEC in a truly Melanesian way,” he said.

“We are going to deliver APEC given within our constraints and our government is very focused. The public service is focused. Our partners like UNDP, Australia and New Zealand, the rest of the world who are coming on board to help us; they are giving all their support. They know what it means to have an APEC 2018 Meeting in this country, for Papua New Guinea and the region.”

 

PNG HUNTERS TO PLAY ON NRL GRAND FINAL DAY

 24th September 2017
The PNG Hunters have overcome the weight of eight million rabid rugby league fans back home to score a stunning last-minute, 12-10 grand final win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons and change the Intrust Super Cup forever.
After seven minutes the Hunters trailed 10-0 and looked to be completely overawed by the occasion of playing on Suncorp Stadium for the very first time, but the longer the game went the more the momentum grew yet boundless errors and missed opportunities seemed to allow a brave Falcons team to hold on.
The Hunters will now travel to Sydney to play either Wyong or Penrith in the Intrust Super Championship and take centre stage in front of 80,000 fans on NRL Grand Final day next Sunday.
After bombing a chance to score eight minutes earlier, it was Willie Minoga who followed through on an Ase Boas grubber kick in the 79th minute to level the scores at 10-all, Boas sealing the most famous day in PNG rugby league history with a conversion from just to the right of the posts.
Trailing 10-0 at the break after an awful start to the decider, a simple drop of the kick-off to the second half by Scott Drinkwater gave the Hunters a gift-wrapped chance to swing the momentum to the raptures of the parochial PNG contingent.
It was messy, and referee Jarrod Cole sent it for review as a ‘no try’ but video referee Clayton Sharpe determined that the grubber by Ase Boas rifled into the feet of the Falcons players was not knocked on by the chasing Hunters players and Bland Abavu released Watson Boas to score their first try of the grand final.
The entire second half felt as though it was spent with the Hunters pounding away at the Falcons defence only to make error after error in attack and drain all the energy out of an expectant crowd waiting for the go-ahead play.
A Watson Boas 40/20 in the 54th minute failed to lead to points, Falcons captain Dane Hogan was heavily concussed shortly afterwards and inexplicably stayed on the field for four minutes before eventually being dragged by the trainers and Watson Boas twice made basic handling errors inside the Falcons’ red zone.
Ten minutes from full-time Minoga looked like crashing through a gaping hole courtesy of a Wartovo Puara pass but let the ball slip through his fingers with the line wide open as the Falcons again turned them away.
Watson Boas was stretched from the field after copping a heavy head knock defending his try-line and as expectation grew the clock ticked away on the Hunters’ incredible dream that is now a reality.
After a frantic start it appeared that the composure and professionalism of the Falcons would be far too good for the passion of the PNG team who did well to fight their way back into the contest only to cruel the try-scoring opportunities they had with errors attacking the Falcons’ line.
Their best chance of the first half went astray when a Moses Meninga offload hit the ground and David Loko and Brandy Peter both made errors on the first tackle inside the Falcons’ 10-metre line as they dominated territory without having anything to show for it.
The Falcons got off to the perfect start when Jahrome Hughes sent winger Matthew Soper-Lawler on a weaving run to the tryline with a one-handed flick pass inside the first two minutes and the Storm connection struck again five minutes later when Ryley Jacks sent Joe Stimson slicing through on the left.
The game threatened to escape the Hunters’ reach before many of the fans flooding into Suncorp Stadium could take their seats but every time they put pressure on the Falcons they committed the cardinal sins of giving away unnecessary penalties or making basic errors.
PNG Hunters 12 (Watson Boas, Willie Minoga tries; Ase Boas 2 goals) def. Sunshine Coast Falcons 10 (Matthew Soper-Lawler, Joe Stimson tries; Stimson 1 goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 11,260 (record for Cup Grand Final).

Pacific Tuna Forum – O’Neill speech

 

At the 6th Pacific Tuna Forum

 

Under the theme:

“Fostering Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits – Through Sustainable Management and Development of Tuna Resources”

 

13 September 2017

 

Good Morning,

 

It is a pleasure for Papua New Guinea to host this very prestigious 6th Pacific Tuna Forum.

 

Tuna is indeed the natural resource that binds the peoples and Governments of the Pacific Islands together.

 

Tuna is also the major revenue earner for many of our Governments in the Pacific, and for some, it is their single source of revenue.

 

The importance placed on this resource cannot be overstated.

 

Even back in the 1970s, one of the main policy agendas of many Governments was co-operation together to manage their tuna resources.

 

This bi-annual Pacific Tuna Forum is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Government, through the National Fisheries Authority, when it was first held here in 2007.

 

Today, it is held in Partnership with INFO-FISH, and our Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

 

This 3rd forum to be hosted in Papua New Guinea, and also includes the inaugural fishery technology expo that was held yesterday.

 

This forum is a premier tuna industry meeting in the Pacific region.

 

I welcome all policy makers, fishery managers, NGOs and industry leaders from around the world, who are with us here today.

 

The theme of this Forum, focusing on “Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits Through Sustainable Management” is very timely.

 

This theme also resonates quote well with the theme of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia last week, that very much focused on sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific.

 

At the Leaders’ meetings in Apia, we urged the establishment and mainstreaming of regional Minimum Terms and Conditions in all areas of investment and development.

 

This includes a focus on the environment, and compliance across all marine sectors, particularly fisheries.

 

We are placing our support behind a number of initiatives and export standards.

 

This includes Competent Authorities and Catch Documentation Schemes in our region’s small Island economies.

 

As a region we have access to over 50 percent of world tuna supplies.

 

However, the major markets for tuna are not within our region.

 

Papua New Guinea, through the National Fisheries Authority, recognised the importance of expanding our markets.

 

We have established a Trade Lobby Committee which is comprised of both Government and industry representatives.

 

The aim of this committee is to explore and develop new markets.

 

We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future.

 

But Pacific Island Nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.

 

We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners – to be forced into our zones and under license.

 

As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.

 

We have to work together to further prevent illegal activities.

 

Building upon the success of PNA nations in managing the purse seine fishery, we further urge Small Island Nations to use their strength in number, for greater leverage on their interests and to safeguard the interests of our countries.

 

As Pacific Island States we need to steer our destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits go to the people and economies.

 

We must do this rather than struggle with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters.

 

Overall we need to strengthen Pacific solidarity in ensuring collective efforts for joint initiatives for improved ownership, participation and returns from the Blue Pacific.

 

This needs to be through specific initiatives in the sectors such as fishing, processing, transport, trade, and food security.

 

We can build upon the successes of our regional brand for niche products, and ensure that we have the right standards.

 

I urge that we ensure that our operators are provided with more opportunities and supported by the government in the sector.

 

This can be support through the development of partner funded initiatives, so we are not just seeing 100% foreign ventures promoted in these sectors throughout the region.

 

We need genuine joint ventures.

 

We also encourage PPP initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold store infrastructure development.

 

In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment.

 

We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.

 

All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs.

 

We must create more opportunities so that is industry can continue to provide, more support for labour mobility, and making sure that there are more income-earning opportunities for our coastal communities throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

 

These untapped resources, and the opportunities that are available, must be accessed at sea and onshore.

 

Our Government today, is taking a stand against those non-preforming ventures.

 

We are now going to review over the next three months.

 

We are going to review many of these ventures, and the agreements that we have, because as I said at the Pacific Islands’ Forum last week.

 

For far too long in our region, we see ventures that continue to never make profits, Maurice Brown-John said in Apia last week, they never want to leave either.

 

That is why, enough-is-enough.

 

It is time to stop playing these kind of games.

 

It is important that benefits are shared equally, and fairly, so that our people benefit from the resources that they truly own.

 

Our Government is continuing to undertake the responsibility to continue to build good public infrastructure, and provide more training, and tax incentives that will continue to strengthen the industry as we have done in the past.

 

Papua New Guinea has subsidised this industry over the past decade, almost to the tune of almost 1 billion US Dollars.

 

This is by way of concessional fishing rights, in addition to many other generous concessions to the fishing industry.

 

But the reality this hardly adds to the production output that we have sought to achieve.

 

So we can ask where are the results from the investment that the country has been making?

 

We only see market share eroding, for example countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea, where the tuna originates.

 

So in countries like Germany, they are achieving market share of close to 40 per cent, from exports that come from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

 

This is unacceptable to countries like ours, because it erodes the market share for our people and our country.

 

That is why it is important that we go back and review some of the agreements, where we are not seeing processing plants that are not even running up to 75 per cent capacity that is required to hold a license in the industry.

 

We have a scenario where only 1 in 5 fish, that our Government has subsidised, is actually processed in Papua New Guinea.

 

Only 1 in 3, or even 1 in 4 jobs to process the catch are in Papua New Guinea.

 

In reality it means that almost 80% of the benefits from Papua New Guinea, are actually enjoyed by other countries.

 

That is why PNG flagged vessels, that fish our waters today, who enjoy the discounts, and yet have not landed a single fish to our processors in 2 years will be held to account.

 

This is simply not acceptable.

 

Our Government will implement changes.

 

They will make the review, and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.

 

We will increase rewards and support to direct to those who are genuine in the industry, who are genuine in wanting to process the fish in Papua New Guinea.

 

Let me state again, we welcome genuine investors, but those who are only here for cheap fishing are welcome to leave.

 

Our Government is committed to building the necessary support infrastructure.

 

We will create facilities so that fishing men and women, and processors are able to bring fish into ports in a timely manner, can process them at a reasonable cost.

 

We are exploring funding options for the Wagang Port, a dedicated fisheries port in Lae.

 

We want this critical infrastructure to commence construction soon.

 

As many of you will know the Government of Papua New Guinea proposed the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang as a regional tuna processing hub.

 

We will continue to pursue this project.

 

There is no easy way and there are no shortcuts in building a truly robust and competitive fisheries industry together.

 

We need to build competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing costs of production.

 

During this term of Government, the policies and the achievements of the PNG fisheries sector will be measured against the regional benchmark.

 

This will be as outlined in the regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries.

 

We will continue to pursue onshore investment so that we can support these policies, and work with processors towards meeting their processing capacities.

 

Our Government is committed to making this happen, and will work with all stakeholders, especially our locally based fishing and processing industries.

 

We have the greatest potential in our tuna industry.

 

And together we will build a fairer, sustainable and more profitable tuna sector.

 

I wish you all a successful, informative and productive forum and an enjoyable stay in Papua New Guinea.

 

I now declare open – the 06th Pacific Tuna Forum 2017.

 

Thank you.

Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill

Opening Address to Parliament – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

Address to Parliament by

Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP

Prime Minister 


22 August 2017

Mr. Speaker,
I thank His Excellency, the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, for his opening address to this Honourable House this morning.

Mr. Speaker,
Please allow me to express the Government’s appreciation on this occasion, and at the same time Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to welcome all Members of Parliament on both sides of the House. 
Our people have placed their trust in all of us to represent them in this House so we can continue to stand-up for the interests of our great Nation.
Now is the time to be united behind this common trust that our people have place in us.
Now is a time to put aside personality politics.
It is a time to debate policy and ideas that will advance the interests of all Papua New Guineans.
As a Government, we will continue to build on the foundations that we laid over the past five years.
We went to elections with a core set of policies, and the voters embraced these policies.
Working with our coalition partners in Alotau, we have further strengthened these policies, and this going to be is the agenda that we bring to this Parliament.
We have the mandate of the people, and we will honour this mandate given to us through our words and through our actions.

ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS
As a Government we must maintain focus on strengthening our economic foundations of our Nation.
We will review the revenue that our Government currently generates.
Through this process we will identify areas where we are not reaching our true potential, and to increase these revenue streams.
This will involve the development of a comprehensive Medium-Term Revenue Strategy to stimulate revenue-led growth for our economy.

REVENUE AND DEBT REVIEW
Alongside this assessment of revenue, we will undertake a very comprehensive review of expenditure and our debt management strategy.
We acknowledge that debt is an essential part of life for Government and business alike. 
We must continue to think long-term and continue to apply sensible debt management.
Our economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, and we will continue to review this position and make positive change.

EXPANDING ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
An important element in facilitating true economic growth is sharing the gains so that all people benefit.
Our Government, working with our agencies of Government and international partners, will expand the delivery of economic inclusion programs.
We will continue to increase financial literacy and access to credit in the formal economy.

SME DEVELOPMENT
Over the last 40 years, one key business short-falls has been our country’s ability to grow the SME Sector.
While we are open to inviting more foreign direct investment, we need there to be a more level playing field especially in the SME sector.
We are delivering a comprehensive strategy that will grow this sector into the future.

RESOURCES PROJECTS
When it comes to large-scale projects, global companies continue to maintain the highest level of confidence in our oil, gas and mineral sectors.
We are working with TOTAL from France, ExxonMobil from the United States, Oil Search and other companies so that we can develop the next level of LNG production in our country.
At the same time, we know that our value-add strategy coming from this is one that we must advance so that our people and our country continue to benefit more.
We will advance plans to establish a petrochemicals industry in our country over the coming years.

LAND OWNERSHIP
We also need to work harder so that we can continue to support land ownership and equitable benefit sharing that our people are demanding.
We want to ensure that traditional owners can truly benefit from the resources that they and their communities have possessed for thousands of years.
To this end, we are committed to a review on ownership rights of resources in our country.

FORESTRY
Our forestry sector is another resource where we can value-add.
For far too long, Governments have had a less than transparent visibility of this industry where a blind-eye has been turned to issues blatantly before Government.
In this term of Government we will legislate for sustainable forestry development, and we will continue to increase landowner participation in this industry.

TOURISM
A further area of great potential for our people is tourism in this country.
There is so much that we have to offer the world tourism market, and to offer to our own domestic tourist market.
We must strengthen tourism infrastructure, this includes not only building hotels, but other infrastructure like sea ports and air ports.
As agreed in the Second Alotau Accord, we will promote and establish associated infrastructure for the tourism Hubs in our country.

INFRASTRUCTURE
The economy of our nation can only move forward if we have the right infrastructure in place.
Over recent decades, infrastructure has been left to ruin, and has not kept pace with a growing population.
Through the Second Alotau Accord, we have committed to opening up missing links, especially road and bridge links between many of the isolated communities right throughout the country.
We are determined to bring other infrastructure such as power and telecommunications, and make them cheaper.

LAW AND ORDER
Over recent decades, Papua New Guinea has suffered from a negative reputation because of Law and Order issues.
Through the policy initiatives of the Second Alotau Accord, we will create safer and more secure communities.
Our Government is committed to continuing the recruitment of well-disciplined police men and woman, and also other disciplined forces, and equipping them properly so that the can do a fair job.
We will also review legislation that governs all of our disciplined services, to ensure far better accountability so that there is far better command and control structures in place.
Today, in many parts of the country the judiciary and legal system are also gaining access to better infrastructure.
At the same time, our judiciary and legal infrastructure will continued to be enhanced and updated.

EDUCATION
Free education for our children has certainly changed the Nation and launched a new path for many Papua New Guineans.
Over the past five years we have placed more than one million additional children in school.
The first five years of free education has come with a lot of challenges, we are the first to admit this.
Our clear focus now is on improving the quality of education for all of our children.
We also need to keep increasing the number of Papua New Guineans who are getting trade qualifications, as well as expanding their academic qualifications through universities.
We are committed to establishing of an Education Endowment Fund that will further enhance quality education being delivered throughout our country.

HEALTHCARE
Providing healthcare to remote and rural areas remains a core Government policy.
Access to hospital care should not be restricted to urban areas only, and in this term of Government, we will continue to build and rehabilitate district and provincial hospitals.
We will continue to work with churches, NGOS and partner Governments, to strengthen our healthcare services.
We will subsidise specialised healthcare, and we will improve the collation and use of health data and wellbeing indicators. 

POPULATION
We really do not know how many people live in our country.
We have estimates, but these are not accurate enough.
We need to re-establish a National Data Collection Centre so that we can plan better and we can develop policies that better reflect the population distribution in our country.
Accurate population data is key for proper Public Policy planning and monitoring. 
We must aim to keep our economic growth above our population growth, and we can only do this by having access to reliable data so that we can monitor these very indicators as we move forward.

FOREIGN POLICY
We live in an ever-changing and globalising world, it is essential that we position ourselves to be a functional and respected global citizen.
We will continue to grow our trading opportunities and partnerships with many other countries within the region.
We will continue to build our multi-national relations that we already have.
Papua New Guinea is now the incoming host of APEC.
In November next year, the twenty Presidents and Prime Ministers of APEC’s other Member Economies will visit our country.
This is an opportunity to showcase our country to the world.
It is an opportunity to change the way the world views our country.
Papua New Guinea’s APEC will have very Pacific-style Hospitality along with world-class security arrangements.

CONCLUSION – POSITIVE FUTURE
We will continue to be a Government that Governs for all Papua New Guineans.
We must unite all of our people for the betterment of their lives and our country.
We will execute the mandate that has been entrusted to us with diligence and compassion.
We will work day-and-night to deliver the infrastructure and the services that will continue to strengthen our economy and our communities.
This is our pledge that our Government makes to our people.
We thank our Nation and this Honourable House for the mandate that has been bestowed upon us.
We will certainly not let you down, and we will deliver to your expectations.
God Bless Papua New Guinea.

PNG National General Election NOT Rigged 

********** Press Statement by Simon Bole, General Secretary of PAP ************
There are people in PNG and abroad who say things to undermind capabilities of PNG people and how we can manage our affairs. 

Many of such people in Australia say PNG will be a fallen state. PNG has never failed and we will never fall.
Many of such critics say PNG will fail election 2017. They further say Hela will fail election because it’s a hot spot. Hela election steering committee and Hela people has proved critics wrong by delivering a successful election 2017.
In Hela I don’t see any indication of election rigging by any single Political Party as others claim.
In Hela I also don’t see signs of PNC control or rigging election in Hela.
The results of current counting tallies will prove my statement.
In Komo Magarima open electorate, PAP party leader Tukuyawini Peter Philip is taking a lead with 13,638 plus votes while second runner up is Independent candidate Manessah Makipa with 7,991 votes. The PNC candidate is trailing in 5th place with 4,655 votes. 

PNC candidate is short of about 9,000 votes to beat the PAP leader therefore I don’t see any indication of election rigging by PNC here.
The PNC candidate for Koroba Lake Kopiago is also trailing in 11th place with only 2,270 votes in the ladder as first count winded down and awaiting eliminations.
See results below:
A. Koroba Lake Kopiago Open Seats Updates after count 81/81.

1. Bobby Yupi 6,525 Ind

2. Petrus Thomas 6,333 PPP

3. Waa Akope 5,246 ind

4. Mathias M Putaya 5,061 ind

5. Gabriel Tika 4,376 ind

6. Andrew Andapi 3,719 ind

7. John Kekeno 3,639 PNGP

8. Howard Lole 2,895

9. Allan Tolo 2,729

10. Pais Paro 3,190 ind

11. Isaack Matiabe 2,470…PNC

See also results for Regional and Komo Magarima below.
Updates from Hela for Hela Regional and Komo Magarima open.
B. Progressive Tally for Hela Regional seat after count no.146:

1. Philip Undialu – 29,548 

2. Dr HEWALI – 20,157 

3. Francis Potabe -16,946 

4. Andy Kenamu -14,802 

5. Lari Andagali – 13,556

80 boxesremaining for counting. 

Koroba Kopiago and Komo Margarima open completed quality check and ready for elimination process tomorrow.

Of the 258 boxes, 28 boxes destroyed, 123 counted and left with 107 boxes to go…
C. Komo Magarima open after final count 78

1. PAP party leader Tukuyawini Peter Philip 13,638 votes

2. Manesa Makipa 7,991 votes independent candidate

3. Paul Pale 5,697 ind

4. Tumbi Yari 4,765 ind

5. Edward Alina 4,655 PNC candidate

6.Tony Tanda 3,785

7. Kuruku Ipara 3,656

8. Kevin Tos 3,130

9. Allan Kaiape 3,102..

Quality checks completed for Komo Magarima and Koroba Kopiago yesterday. Today elimination will commence.

Updates for some other electorates in PNG.
D. Update for count in Maprik ESP.

Counting of Box 1 for Maprik Open seat for Albiges Mambep LLG progressive results;

1. Gabriel Kapris 1,403 PNGNP

2. David Anis 266

3. Albert Selbhia 134

4. John Simon 128

5. Pita Lus 44

E. NDC Moresby North West Count 52 Progressive result. PNC candidate and Health Minister is trailing somewhere really bellow the ladder.
1. Lohia Boe Samuel (IND) – 4452

2. Mekere Morauta (IND) – 4052

3. Joseph Tonde (PONP) – 2216

4. Miria Ikupu (IND) – 1858

5. Russel Wavik (PPP) – 1561
Count 53 in progress.

F. In Port Moresby:

NCD Regional seat – Powes Parkop SDP leads on 9,000 votes after count 91.

G. Moresby South seat – PNC candidate Justin Techenko leads on 19,000 votes after count 96
SHP Counting Update quote from PNG Garamut News
In SHP PROGRESSIVE RESULTS

H. IALIBU PANGIA.. AFTER COUNT 31
1: Peter O’Neill- 13,510 votes PNC leader and PM

2: Stanley Liria- 2,444 votes

3: Sam Kari – 368 votes

4: Leonard Pagepea – 363 votes

5: Justin Rapula- 125 votes

6: Nepolin Rema- 53 votes…

In Chimbu as per Kundu 1 news this morning.
I. THE party candidate now opposition party candidate is taking a lead in Karimui Nomane open.

J. In Sinasina Yogogmul open opposition party member and leader for PNGNP Kerenga Kua is leading with 5000 plus votes.

With such results with various political parties and independents candidates taking leads in many electorate where PNC candidates are trailing lower in ladder there is no indication of a single party rigging election.

As citizens of this country let’s allow completion of election process and if we are not satisfied with results we go to the Courts for election petition.
With this good luck in election 2017.

Aust Govt to pay $70m damages to 1,905 Manus detainees in class action

 

The Australian government and its offshore detention contractors will pay more than $70m in compensation to nearly 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers for illegally detaining them in dangerous and damaging conditions on Manus Island.

The government on Wednesday settled a class action brought by Slater and Gordon on behalf of 1,905 refugees and asylum seekers detained on the island, rather than proceed with a six-month trial that would have involved evidence before the court from detainees of murder inside the detention centre, systemic sexual and physical abuse, and inadequate medical treatment leading to injury and death.

The detention centre was ruled “illegal and unconstitutional” by the PNG Supreme Court in April 2016. It remains operational, housing nearly 900 men, but is slated for closure in October this year.

 

UN official says Australia responsible for ‘inhuman’ treatment of asylum seekers
Read more
The Australian government and its contractors have agreed to pay compensation of $70m plus costs.

Costs will run to at least $20m, Slater and Gordon said. But the total cost could climb beyond $100m, an immigration department source confirmed to The Guardian.

The settlement was reached on the provision that the Australian government denied any and all liability for the mistreatment and false imprisonment of people on Manus Island.

The breakdown of money to be paid by the Australian government, G4S, and Broadspectrum has not been made public, but it is possible that some of the settlement could be paid by Wilson Security, which was sued by Broadspectrum and brought into the class action as a secondary defendant.

The lead plaintiff in the case was 35-year-old Iranian Christian Majid Kamasaee, who fled his homeland to escape violent religious persecution. He said the settlement was a long-overdue acknowledgement of the unnecessary suffering endured by those sent to Manus.

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“This case is not just about me, it is about every person who has been trapped on Manus Island,” Kamasaee said.

“I came to Australia seeking peace, but I was sent to Manus, which was hell. I was in pain every minute of every day and I cried every night until I had nothing left.”

Kamasee said his treatment in the Manus Island detention centre was degrading and cruel.

“Sadly, many of my friends are still there.

“Our voices have never been listened to, but today we are finally being heard and I hope everyone’s suffering can be over as quickly as possible.”

The class action – even without proceeding to trial – involved 200 witness statements, 200,000 documents, and more than 50 court dates. It detailed allegations of mistreatment from detainees themselves, as well as supporting evidence from health workers and security experts.

Slater and Gordon principal lawyer Andrew Baker said the people detained on Manus Island endured extremely hostile conditions, but had refused to suffer in silence.

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“Most were fleeing religious persecution and violence and came to Australia seeking protection, only to be denied their basic human rights,” he said.

“While no amount of money could fully recognise the terrible conditions the detainees endured, we hope today’s settlement can begin to provide them with an opportunity to help put this dark chapter of their lives behind them.”

Asked if he believed the Australian government had settled on the case to avoid scrutiny of detention conditions in open court, Slater and Gordon class action practice group leader Rory Walsh said: “yes”.

By denying liability as a condition of settlement, Walsh said, the government was able to continue to run that argument in other cases involving Manus and Nauru.

 

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“The extent to which a $70m plus costs settlement undermines the ability for them to do that, or whether indeed it passes the pub test, is a matter for others to comment on.”

The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, said settlement in the case was not an admission of liability, and that the government “strongly refutes and denies the claims made in these proceedings”.

“The commonwealth is required by the Legal Services Directions to endeavour to avoid, prevent or limit the scope of legal proceedings,” Dutton said in a statement.

“An anticipated six-month legal battle for this case would have cost tens of millions of dollars in legal fees alone, with an unknown outcome. In such circumstances a settlement was considered a prudent outcome for Australian taxpayers.”

Dutton said the DIBP was the most litigated department of the Commonwealth, with an active caseload of nearly 5,800 matters. DIBP’s legal expenditure last financial year was more than $70m.

He said the cost of Australia’s border policies had been $13.7b to date, and accused the Labor Party, which re-opened the Manus and Nauru detention centres in 2012, of losing control of Australia’s borders.

However, Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani told the Guardian from Manus that the settlement was a concession by the Australian government its policy of offshore detention was illegal.

“The people are very happy because it’s the first time they smell a little bit of justice from Australia. I’m saying only a little bit because we still don’t know how they are planning to pay the compensation. The government has kept people in this prison for four years and must answer to the people it has damaged physically and mentally.

“This shows the government recognised that they committed a crime by sending us to this prison. It proves that the government lied to the people.”

Boochani said the future of the 900 men remaining on Manus Island remained uncertain, despite the class action settlement.

“It’s time to take us from here and give us freedom in a safe place. Freedom is more important that anything.”

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Sudanese refugee Abdul Aziz Muhammad said the settlement had given men in detention hope.

“I feel very excited that at least the Australian government has admitted to what they have done to us over the last four years.”

The class action, commenced by Slater and Gordon in the Victorian Supreme Court in December 2014, was run on behalf of 1,905 refugees and asylum seekers who were held at the Manus Island regional processing centre between November 2012 and December 2014.

That period included the riots of February 2014 during which more than 70 detainees were seriously injured. Over three days of violence, refugees were shot by police, were stabbed and had their throats slits when the camp was overrun by rioters from outside. Iranian Reza Barati was murdered by security guards.

The detainees alleged in the class action they suffered serious physical and psychological injuries as a result of the conditions in detention.

In 2016, a second claim for false imprisonment was added to the action, after the PNG supreme court ruled that the detention of asylum seekers was unlawful and unconstitutional.

Following the settlement announcement, the department of immigration and border protection has been approached for comment, but has not responded.

Legal and human rights groups accused the government of agreeing to settle in order to avoid evidence of condition inside the secretive offshore camps being heard in open court.

The Human Rights Law Centre’s Daniel Webb said the case was an “important and long overdue concession that it has knowingly caused profound harm to innocent people in its care”.

He said the men still held on Manus should be brought to Australia immediately.

“Throwing money at the abuses of yesterday won’t stop the abuses of today. Nine hundred men are still languishing on a painful and dangerous road to nowhere. These men have been shot at, beaten and unlawfully detained. They’ve also suffered the mental torment of not knowing if or when their ordeal would ever end. Manus is not a safe place for them.”

GetUp’s human rights director Matthew Phillips said the settlement was concession that Australia’s offshore detention centres were inherently abusive environments.

“Make no mistake – this is hush money.

“Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton will throw around a seemingly unlimited amount of taxpayer money to avoid public scrutiny of evidence of abuses occurring within Australia’s detention regime and to protect the private contractors complicit in those abuses.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/jun/14/government-to-pay-damages-to-manus-island-detainees-in-class-action

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