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Thanks Richard. You’ve shed light by highlighting most of the issues preventing many Papua New Guineans benefiting from the SWP. PNG has to come up with a strategy that can work better.
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Cameron Hill has suggested the report of the team which I led (finalised in March 2019) should be published. In my admittedly biased view, much of the material, analysis and recommendations in the report is still relevant enough for that to be worthwhile. I should at once note that the report was in several parts the work of others – a team of six from Dalberg Advisors (some of whom had worked on the genesis of FinDev Canada) and Andrew Tyndale, Chair of Inspire Impact and a leader in Australian impact investing. Since Cameron Hill has made thoughtful observations about the objectives, governance and accountability of an Australian DFI, I might add that we recognised the within-government aspects of providing large amounts of development assistance in forms other than grants which need careful consideration – budget treatment, implications for the ODA cap, relations with PM&C, Treasury and Finance, and relations with other development assistance. Therefore, as well as making the case for new forms of finance, we compared the pros and cons of several institutional options including a new DFI, and we suggested a sequencing of design decisions which could draw on experience after implementing the decisions of November 2018 on AIFFP and EFA. I therefore hope that, whether or not our report is published, the envisaged review can make use of the work done on it.
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I would vote for a party that commits to giving PNG and Solomon Islanders a right to live and work in Australia - ie, permanent residence in Australia. Perhaps on condition of reciprocal rights given to Australians to live and work in PNG and SI.
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Stephen Howes is correct in saying there's been no public discussion of whether giving DFI functions to EFA is the best way to go. But there has been an inquiry, in 2018-19, which DFAT commissioned and in which it invested substantial resources. DFAT has not published the resulting report. Some elements of it remain relevant to our current situation, including whether the best kind of inquiry to make now, under the Government elected in May 2022, is one led by DFAT.
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Thanks, Abbie. Looks like there will be lots of opportunities to put this strong case to the new government between now and the replenishment. Be interesting to see what comes out of the G-20 Health Ministers Meeting and the Global Health Security Conference over the next few weeks.
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Agee. Recently, and only recently, I have been hearing the term "Pacific Family" from Australia. However, I feel very uncomfortable with it. Why? 1 I have never heard the term "Pacific Family" from Pacific Islanders. 2 I have been traveling around Pacific Island countries for more than 30 years, and I feel that the antipathy of Pacific Islanders toward Australians is so strong that it makes me feel sorry for Australians. 3 I feel that the Pacific Family has a malicious intention to exclude not only China but also the U.S., France, India, and Japan. 4 Pacific Island countries are beginning to be spoken of within the vast geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific, and the onus is on me to suggest that to the Abe administration in 2017. the term Pacific Family is even less fitting.
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Great piece, but Australian advocates are actually calling for at least $450million commitment from the Australian Government to the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment, which is an extra AU $70m per year. Australia’s contributions to the Global Fund to date, whilst welcome, have sat well below what our “fair share” should be. The Sixth Replenishment figure (AU $242m) should not be our baseline for determining our contribution to the Seventh Replenishment. Take for example, how we support the Global Fund in comparison to other similar high income countries. Per capita, Australia has pledged US $6 compared to the UK’s US $25 and Canada’s US $20 since 2019 (Sixth Replenishment + contribution to Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism). If Australia were to give on par with these countries, our upcoming pledge should be upwards of AU $720m*. Alternatively, if we look at the ACT-Accelerator burden share model, Australia’s share was calculated at 2.2%. As such, using that formulation, our contribution to the Seventh Replenishment should be AU $593 million. Whichever way you look at it, a circa 30% increase on the $242m as suggested in the blog above puts us well below what we should, and can, be committing. Australia must step up to ensure that hard fought progress against the three diseases back on track, and ensure strong, resilient health systems to prepare for, prevent and protect against future health threats. As such, we are seeking a $450m contribution from Australia, which as you can see above is still at the lower end of the field, but acknowledges the important contributions that Australia also commits bilaterally to global health in our region. *Country / Population (millions) / 6th Replenishment + C19RM contributions (US$ millions) US / 330 / 25 UK / 67 / 26 Canada / 38 / 20 Australia / 26 / 6 A contribution on par with AUKUS alliance members: $US 650m ($AU 905m) A contribution on par with Canada: $US 520m (AU $724m)
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Well said Juliet. I cringe every time I hear the term, coming from a political system that so recently showed scant regard for the existential threat of climate change 'family' members are experiencing. Even being decent caring neighbours would be a start.
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This situation is a tell-tale effect of endemic corruption that is weakening systems of governance and internal controls put in place to manage a corporate entity in PNG Power Ltd that is designed to operate for a profit or simply like a business that pays dividends to its owners-the people of Papua New Guinea through the state. Unlike the Papua New Guinea Electricity Commission that depended on government funding of its operations through taxpayer money, it's successor PNG Power Ltd is different it is designed in that it's revenues and profits from it's annual operations should support it(meaning-you have to make the money, no more government funding).This however, is no simple task it requires highly technical business knowledge and skills coupled with engineering expertise to correctly analyze and correct any discourse in its operating objectives. PNG Power Ltd today as is widely reported suffers from ageing infrastructure costs, high cost fuel generation, high wage costs and more recently high power purchasing costs. 1) Ageing infrastructure-(the engineering term being used is wear & tear/corrosion. Its business terminology or accounting term to be specific is' Depreciation' which is a cost calculated as an expense and subtracted from the purchase cost of an asset gradually (eg.turbine) to determine it present value, this information is vital to management to determine the proper age of its assets and which assets, to ensure that the business is not operating non profitable assets, this information is also used to decide whether an asset should be refurbished or replaced a vital financial management information). Investment however has to be effective, applied correctly to impact operations and avoid wastage which on top of an understanding of business functions requires engineering understanding of its power system layout from plant to distribution to determine the correct program to apply, were and when. 2) High Cost Fuel Generation requires priority low cost renewable energy planning of its existing renewable generating capabilities (currently hydro) and future expansion into this option. However this does not underscore the importance of effectively managing its current portfolio of diesel generating capabilities which supports its hydro capacities which is the source of baseload power on three of its major grids in Port Moresby, Ramu and Gazelle apart from diesel stations off these grids to ensure that PPL is getting the best out of its grids with this arrangement from an engineering and management perspective. 3) High wage cost. Wage cost is a vital cost of any business whether it is doing well or not. However, correct and effective human resource planning and management is required to ensure that PPL is getting the best from its workforce. Currently it seems that PPL is suffering from a lack of business managerial capabilities specifically with its accounting issues that deals with financial & cost management and given the costs being mentioned here. 4) High Power purchasing costs is related to its generation capabilities and can also be attributed to the condition and correct and efficient operation of its systems. These are issues PPL must address from an engineering and business management perspective, however the key is to rid itself of the corruption that is affecting its operations from top down by investing foremost in institutional strengthening through anti-corruption mechanisms in conjunction with local and international anti-corruption bodies.
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Firstly, I particularly impressed with the new Australian Foreign Minister, Senator for South Australia, Hon. Mademoiselle Penny Wong, MP., because she impresses as a seasoned career politician who understands deeply the concerns of many Small Island States (SIS) including independent Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Papua New Guinea is greatly challenged by a myriad of key development issues that the current political elite have consistently failed to address over the years since 1990. For example, according to the 2020 and 2021 Human Development Index, Papua New Guinea Education Index remained at 0.04 per cent from 1990 to 2021. This is hardly an improvement for the Education sector particularly the primary and secondary sector. The proposed Pacific Engagement Visa – part of a larger scheme of Pacific migration policies certainly goes a long long way to helping Papua New Guinea get its economy back on track and improve its financial as well as economic ratings back on track. This Pacific migration policies will have enormous benefits not just in terms of Pacific labor mobility but also in terms of addressing unemployment, poverty alleviation, health, sanitation, and hygiene including further education in Australia. This same people will also send remittances back to their countries of birth hence contributing directly to the economies of these countries throughout the Pacific region. In foresight, the Australian Labour Government can build on these policies in which the proposition of a Pacific Free Trade Block or a Pacific Commonwealth Union (PCU) in which Australia remains the dominant economic driver of the PCU to rival that of the European Union and the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN is feasible and not a mere imagination in the not too distant future if the current Australian Labour Government manages this Pacific migration policies with care and support for Pacific communities and the Australian people as well. In conclusion, I believe that the Pacific Engagement Visa is a positive step in the right direction for all stakeholders and a big win for the local Pacific Islanders who have contributed immensely to the Australian Way of Life over the years.
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