The PNG Update was held on June 18-19 jointly organized by the Australian National University and the University of Papua New Guinea and hosted again at the UPNG campus in Port Moresby. Over 400 participants on each of the two days of the Update enjoyed a diverse and stimulating set of presentations and discussions.
Proceedings were opened with a welcome from the UPNG Vice Chancellor Professor Albert Mellam, and ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Dean Veronica Taylor. Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Deborah Stokes delivered the inaugural address. Finance Minister James Marape put the cat among the pigeons by declaring that LNG was a “myth”, and highlighting the gap between inflated expectations and harsh budgetary realities.
And then, conference open, it was game on with a mix of plenary keynotes and parallel sessions: some 50 presentations in all. Discussion was lively and at times intense. So too was media attention: with the Update covered in both headlines and through in-depth articles in the printed media, online, and on television.