Comment on Stories and memories of Port Moresby

Thank you Rohan - you speak for so many of us who love PNG and Port Moresby and are saddened by the 'single story' which continues being told about PNG. I have asked PNG colleagues how they feel about Australian (in particular) media stories of PNG and their responses are consistent - sad, or annoyed, or disappointed, or angry, or ashamed, or any combination of these. When I ask them how they feel about how Port Moresby has developed over the past decade they often say 'proud'. They know there are problems - we don't need to tell them those.

And I agree that the other stories about PNG need to be told too - by the people of PNG and blogs and social media are good places to do that - but mainstream media needs to address this deficit in their stories and ask PNG nationals to write for them.

Comment on Stories and memories of Port Moresby

Very Positive article about Port Moresby and PNG

Comment on Stories and memories of Port Moresby

Rohan, thank you from someone who on a day to day basis, monitors the facebook site Papua New Guineans Against Domestic Violence. Sometimes we get locked into thinking the world is just as I saw it on Christmas Day 2016 - a woman - a mother of three with severe machette wounds to her head as we worked to get health and justice services for her.

We lived in PNG throughout the 1970's, was there for Independence, and pulled out in 1981 after my husband cleaned up a plane crash and got, among other things, PTSD. There is a cost to putting bits of bodies into plastic bags. No one understood at that time. PNG was not the problem. I saw a lot of racism - white privilege. Perhaps that was because I looked at the world through Aboriginal eyes.

My kids grew up there. We had no bars on our windows, never got broken into, my children played with local kids up on the hill behind the airport, building cubby houses, swimming in the creek, which I was told later, was the home of a croc. I love PNG. I love the people - big hearted, alive, cultured - "Welcome to the University. The ancient, timeless, eternal University of Melanesia. The Village. Where courses are offered in living”. Bernard Narakobi.

Comment on Backpacker exploitation: why Australia should look to the Pacific

I have to say that I don't believe that SWP is more secured and regulated.

I was one of the quarter of million backpackers. What I believed is, not many people know the exploitation until four corner-Slaving away. The policy maker only ask one question: Why the backpackers come?and how much they have spent here. If they here for the money, then great! We can take more from them.(32.5% tax) Don't care about the drastic working condition. Don't care about their 24 hours per day long working hours. Or $2 dollars per hour poorly wages.

It's a very ridiculous move of Tourism department, spent $10 million to promote the WHM program in England, Canada and Ireland. Because the shortage labour force is happening in primary industries, farm, meat or poultry processing plant. However, these industries they don't even like to use white man, these young Caucasians are too smart to know their right. I have met a Canadian young WHV drive bus in Tasmania, no farmer willing to hire him. And many British gave up the second year, no way to collect 88 days, unless the $4 per hour picking strawberries job is worth or just use $500 to buy the second year.

It's more ridiculous watching the political shows about the backpacker tax. I think when the politicians arguing about how much tax rate should be fare, why the applicants are dropping, should of thinking about Australian economy recession. How weakness and worthless the Australian dollars now compare to 5-6 years ago.

Comment on Mangoes, desperation and seasonal workers: labour market challenges in Northern Australia

Thanks for your follow up remarks Ian. The increasing reporting around irregular workers in horticulture does lend credence to your comment about people coming to Australia with the intention to work illegally as part of an organised system. Labour deficiencies are difficult but as you say, little attention is directed to these questions apart from reactive and poorly considered policies (such as the backpacker tax). I also fear there is not enough knowledge within the government and bureaucracy about how immigration intersects with the labour market.

I don't imagine we will see an Ag visa system in the short-term but you never know. Your point about the wage differences in developing and developed countries is spot on and will always be an inducement for many people to try their luck earning more money.

Comment on Mangoes, desperation and seasonal workers: labour market challenges in Northern Australia

Many are concerned at the illegal workers in Australian Agriculture but little attention is directed to the cause.

To me it is quite clear that if we had a well structured and managed Ag visa system there would be no market for illegals. It is a case of market failure due inaction by the current government who can not blame the opposition who have publicly agreed to a bi partisan approach to support a specialised agriculture visa subject to no Australia job loss, paying Tax and obeying Australian OHS. This is all very basic stuff so why have we a problem ?

Illegals are merely coming in to fill this labour deficiency, wouldn't you if your home country wage is $ 10 day and Australia is $ 23 per hour plus other tack on benefits ? .

Comment on Has the PNG economy been in recession?

Why not this report be posted to the two newspapers in PNG; Post Courier and Th National so that the people of PNG are fully informed of the economic situation in the country. Although the vast majority of the PNG population is so frustrated of the lies upon lies put on the two major newspapers in the country by current leadership of the nation, the least you can do is to have it published for everyone to see.
I sincerely request your good office to have this information published ASAP.
Thank you very much.

Comment on PNG education policies in urban contexts: Christ the King Primary School, Port Moresby

Great quality article, is surely school serves as a great reference.

Comment on Has the PNG economy been in recession?

Thanks Nelson and Stephen for this work

From the onset we can say your analysis make some real sense for PNG micro economy performance while the BPNG, Treasury and PM Office telling us a different story without merit/data over the last 2 years. They indicated if I can recall super phenomenal estimated growth of GDP and GNP in PNG in the last 2 years but without dissecting the difference (as your analysis) between non mining GDP and resource sector inclusive GDP for the country.

In the last 2 years the government boasted about PNG economy growing faster at unprecedented rate but it was stated without substance/merit. The government based their analysis along with the resource boom but that was short lived as we see today in your analysis. The Government depends on the resource boom but the literal people of this country put their livelihood on the micro economy-non mining sector and that does not make real sense with what the government boasted and the real situation with micro economy.

And far more worst, recently public servants were not paid on time, business houses lay of non-essential workforce, BPNG rationing out foreign exchange, government introduced supplementary budget lately, development commitments not honoured and all these amount to manifestations of a declining economy that will eventuate into recession. Your analysis above tells us the true story and that will likely continue for the next few years. Not forgetting that the current government accommodated huge external loans for repayment as well.

As you stated above PNG government should look at reforming the micro economy to at least improve the basic welfare of the people, let along the bigger macro-economic recession. The possibility seems impossible for now.

Comment on Global Fund round five: Australia keeping up

Just a related follow-up on this post -- the Global Fund has now released the allocation of funds raised in the 5th Replenishment Round for 2017-19. The spreadsheet can be downloaded here and there's a good summary here.
In the Pacific, PNG is set to receive US$43m ($24m to malaria, $11m to TB, $8m to HIV/AIDS), Solomon Islands US$6m for malaria and TB, and 'multicountry Western Pacific' (Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu) have been allocated US$13m.