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Monday, 21 May

21:00

Hard going for the Tkatchenkos in developing their Brisbane estate "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Architect's drawing of the main building
Architect's drawing of the ornate main building with its feature cupula planned for the Tkatchenko estate

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA Papua New Guinea's sports and APEC minister Justin Tkatchenko and his wife Catherine are being frustrated by 178 pesky neighbours and the powerful city council in creating their dream estate in the Brisbane suburb of Brookfield.

The Tkatchenkos intend to build an ornate main dwelling, a three bedroom second dwelling, two pavilions, a large greenhouse, a big gym, an ornamental lake with two fountains, a 25 metre swimming pool, animal stables and a 30 aviary complex for 600 finches.

And now the saga of the property at 15 Upper Brookfield Road that they purchased for $1.77 million in 2015 has made it all the way to the courts.

The Tkatchenkos have lawyered up to fight for their rights as they struggle with Brisbane City Council over what to the naked eye is a lavish multi-million dollar transformation of the mini-estate.

Aerial view
Aerial view of the Tkatchenko estate (the area contained within the blue perimeter line)

The Brookfield property is a substantial 8.5 acres in area and supplements the Tkatchenkos other $1.1m investment home in the prestigious Brisban...

20:00

It's difficult to be enthusiastic about APEC's immense cost "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

WatnaMori
Watna Mori - government still owes much money from past spending on public spectacles

WATNA MORI | The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

PORT MORESBY - It is not clear when the big-man politics in Papua New Guineas foreign policy began.

It was likely during the prime ministership of Sir Michael Somare in the early 2000s, when he pushed for PNG to be an aid donor to the region.

At the time, and to this day, PNG continues to be Australias largest aid recipient, so Somares aim seemed hugely ironic. The ambition kicked off debates in the national newspapers between Somares cohorts and critics.

With the exit of Somare and the entry of Peter ONeill, the benevolence grew. In 2013, ONeill unveiled the Pacific aid program and proceeded to make donations to various Pacific countries, including a whopping US$18.5 million of funding for the Fiji national elections in 2014.

The ONeill government also needed to deliver on several infrastructure-heavy commitments made in the heat of promised liquefied natural gas (LNG) returns. These included the Melanesian Arts Festival in July 2014 and the South Pacific Games in July 2015.

The Melanesian Arts Festival was a last-minute scramble, hosted in makeshift premises. The South Pacific Games, although heralded a success, went ahead with several venues incomplete.

However, this didnt stop then sports minister Justin Tkatchenko and then Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio from announcing a possible bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Three years later, some of the South Pacific Games venues are still to be completed, others are not open to the general public and many have been closed temporarily due to unpaid service bills accumulated from the Games.

This is an example of what may happen to the infrastructure being built now to host the APEC summit in November this year, which expects to see leaders from 21 economies, and potentially thousands of officials and delegates, visit Port Moresby.

In the absence of accurate government facts and figures on the ec...

19:00

Short term gloom, long term boom: mixed message on economy "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Kishti-Sen2
Kishti Sen - PNG has significant short term economic problems but beyond that a resources comeback makes future looks good

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA Kishti Sen, an economist with the ANZ Banking Group, has offered a mixed message about Papua New Guineas economic prospects.

At a recent business conference in Brisbane he warned companies in PNG to run a tight ship, have lean operations and survive two to three years.

But he reassured them, saying there will be significant returns to be had once the mining recovery starts.

Sen said PNGs growth rate was forecast to be 2% both this year and in 2019, well below PNGs long-term average.

If you look back 27 years, you get long average growth of about 4% a year. So 2% is well below and it means you cant absorb the increase in the labour force to keep unemployment steady.

But he was more optimistic about the medium term future.

For the next decade, PNG is setting itself up for very strong growth. It is a good opportunity for the government to secure a broad-based economy once the boom ends.

The government wants to live within its means, it has a debt-to-GDP ratio it wants to adhere to. It has to think about the credit rating agencies as well.

There are reports of cash flow problems. It is something that needs a solution.

But they know this is not the time for austerity. They have to come in and give some stimulus to move the economy along but they are limited in what they can do.

That leaves the economy in the doldrums until the next mining boom happens, he said, adding that importers are struggling but there are limits on what the government can do about the economic slowdown.

There are reports of cash flow problems, Sen said. It is something that needs a solution.

Investors are willing to invest in PNG if they cant get their profits out of the country.

The kina is overvalued and it needs to get to its fair value as quickly as possible because, once it gets to its fair v...

14:56

Work starts on Southern Highlands - Gulf Highway "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

THE Southern Highlands-Gulf Highway is no longer a dream construction and sealing work have started on the first section, Works Secretary David Wereh says.

Wereh told The National yesterday that connecting Southern Highlands and Gulf was one of the countrys major missing links and was also a key access route that the government was committed to deliver.

It is very important for our people and the country to know that the Southern Highlands-Gulf Highway is a reality now, he said.

The first section of the highway from Walum Junction to Yalo is already being sealed and the contractors are currently building and sealing the road from Yalo to Kagua station.

Wereh said tenders for construction and sealing works from Kagua station to Erave would be out shortly and contractors would be engaged to continue the work from Kagua station to Erave and all the way to Simbriki.

From Simbriki, it will go all the way to Kikori, Gulf and link up with the Maghi Highway so people can travel to Port Moresby.

Wereh said despite the tough financial situation facing the country and the government, smart and efficient management of limited resources available through commitment, love and passion for work was crucial to deliver services to the people.

We are not only concentrating on construction work but are conscious of the quality of work contractors are doing and we are engaging them on a performance basis, Wereh said.

They will have to prove to us that they are doing quality work for us to engage them or otherwise we will get rid of them and engage other contractors who can do the job thats worth the money we pay them.

Picture: Left; Works Secretary, Mr David Wereh and (right) Works Minister Nali

14:52

PNG states position on North Korea and UN reforms "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea  Prime Minister, Peter ONeill  has highlighted Papua New Guineas position on significant regional and global foreign policy issues at the meeting of Pacific Leaders in Japan.
Speaking at the Eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8), the Prime Minister highlighted the Governments position in relation to tensions on the Korean Peninsula and reform of the United Nations Security Council.
There is no doubt the we live in complicated times in the global political context, the Prime Minister said.
There have been changes in the leadership of a number of governments, the Brexit vote and conflict in Syria with all of its human rights ramifications, just to name a few.
It is times like these that Nation States must work together through global forums.
We must work through the United Nations, but we know the UN system has its flaws and is need of reform.
In particular, Papua New Guinea calls for reforms in the United Nations Security Council so that it is more relevant and responsive to security challenges that are faced in the world today.
Leaders at PALM8 further discussed tensions with North Korea and the implications this has at a regional level.
A crucial issue the world is dealing with today is finding a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
If conflict was to return there would be serious implications for all nations of the Asia-Pacific.
For many decades, the leadership of North Korea have acted in a deeply disturbing manner and violated acceptable rules of behaviour and decency.
Papua New Guinea further shares the concerns of the International Community over nuclear tests by North Korea.
Our PALM host, Japan, is further facing an ongoing threat of conflict and the risks posed by missile tests.
We also know of Japanese citizens being abducted, which is a violation of human rights and we support Japan in dealing with this matter.
Papua New Guinea welcomes current negotiations taking place as a means to successfully address the Korean Peninsula issue.
We must always work together and find political solutions in order to prevent war.

14:45

Economic Growth comes from inclusive approach,says PNG PM O'Neill "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister,  Peter ONeill  has highlighted the importance of ensuring countries draw on their own internal strengths and capabilities and build partnerships in order to enhance economic development.
PM ONeill was speaking at the Eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8) today in Iwaki City, in Japan, where he said co-operation is essential but countries must take charge of their own responsibilities.
While overseas assistance plays an important role in achieving our development goals, we must rely more on ourselves, the Prime Minister said at the PALM8 Meeting.
Driving our own economic growth is fundamental to the development in our country.
And as we have learned in Papua New Guinea, economic growth must be inclusive.
This is an essential part of APEC in 2018 that has the theme of Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future.
Delivering true economic growth is all about building partnerships across the country.
Government cannot advance an economy alone and we must work with the private sector, NGOs and Churches to achieve better health outcomes for our people.
This is particularly important in delivering the foundations for any healthy economy, particularly such as sectors including education and healthcare.
We must look at better ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of healthcare, including the way we deal with infectious diseases.
This includes the fight against tuberculosis through the provision of medical equipment and better communication.
PALM, since its inception in 1997, has contributed to critical key development areas in infrastructure, education, health and transportation.
The Prime Minister further welcomed the proposed PALM Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy that aims to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
This is based on values we all share and the three pillars of the strategy are consistent with our policy agenda.
These include the Pursuit of economic prosperity and Commitment to peace and stability.

13:37

PNG Government plans Air Niugini Pacific route "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


The government plans to extend its Air Niugini service all Pacific Island nations soon including other countries that matter bilaterally.

Two air service agreements were signed at the recent 8th Pacific Island Leaders Meeting in Japan.

In Iwaki, Prime Minister Peter ONeill signed an agreement with Marshall Islands President Dr Hilda Heine to enable the countrys flag carrier to start flights service there immediately.

Basically, it has been agreed already by our officials and for us to enforce it, ONeill said at the signing ceremony.

We have agreed to the air service agreement between the two countries at the margins of PALM 8.

I know the officials of both sides have worked hard at finalising the agreement and this signing ceremony reflects our commitment in making sure that the relationship between our two countries continue to be beneficial to both Marshall Islands and Papua New Guinea.

I want to thank you for allowing us to fly into your country and hopefully those services will benefit fully Papua New Guinea and Marshall Islands in the future.

Thank you Prime Minister, as you know this is a long awaited moment for us, as we know we waited a long time and finding an ideal time and I guess PALM 8 is ideal time to put our signatures to the paper, President Heine said.

I want to thank you on behalf of the people of Marshall Islands, seeing the challenge Marshall Islands face, transportation is essential service, this means a lot to us.

This commitment by your government and our relationship is very important and I want to thank you very much for this.

The inaugural flight is now being arranged and once all instruments are ready, Air Niugini will service the air route, ONeill said.

Also last week, Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato and Japan Foreign Minister Taro Kono signed the Air Service Agreement between PNG and Japan....PACNEWS

13:33

PNG pushes for UN reform "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter ONeill has called for reforms in the United Nations Security Council to make it more relevant and responsive to security challenges facing the world.

He also told the Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (Palm) in Japan last week that the United Nations system had flaws which should be rectified.

It is times like these that nation States must work together through global forums. We must work through the United Nations. But we know the UN system has its flaws and is need of reform, he said.

In particular, PNG calls for reforms in the UN Security Council so that it is more relevant and responsive to security challenges faced in the world today.

He also called on North Korea to stop its nuclear tests and work with the international community to maintain peace in the Korean Peninsula.

A crucial issue the world is dealing with today is finding a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. If conflict was to return, there would be serious implications for all nations of the Asia Pacific region, he said.

For many decades, the leadership of North Korea have acted in a deeply disturbing manner and violated acceptable rules of behaviour and decency.

PNG shares the concerns of the international community over nuclear tests by North Korea.

Our PALM host, Japan, is further facing an ongoing threat of conflict and the risks posed by missile tests. We also know of Japanese citizens being abducted, which is a violation of human rights. And we support Japan in dealing with this matter.

Papua New Guinea welcomes current negotiations taking place as a means to successfully address the Korean Peninsula issue. We must always work together and find political solutions in order to prevent war.

He said we lived in complicated times in the global political context.

There have been changes in the leadership of a number of governments, the Brexit vote and conflict in Syria with all of its human rights ramifications, just to name a few, he said.

He told the leaders meeting in Iwaki City that they must be self-reliant.

While overseas assistance plays an important role in achieving our development goals, we must rely more on ourselves, he said.

Driving our own economic growth is fundamental to the development in our cou...

06:34

There is No Democracy in a Revolution, and There is No Democracy in a Government Too "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

West Papuans are still fighting for independence, and we are starting to grasp the feeling of living in a democratic world, both within Indonesia and within ULMWP organisation. There is a  misunderstanding among us West Papuans, because we think we know democracy than those Indonesians, but in reality, we are just "dreaming of it", without

There is No Democracy in a Revolution, and There is No Democracy in a Government Too was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

06:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Quire  four sheets of paper or parchment folded to form eight leaves, as in medieval manuscripts; a section of printed leaves in proper sequence after folding; gathering; any collection of leaves one within another in a manuscript or book; 25 (formerly 24) sheets of paper; one twentieth of a ream; choir.

03:02

US report warns about China's 'debt book diplomacy' "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

aninews.in | May 20, 2018

Washington D.C. [United States of America], May 20 (ANI): The U.S. State Department, has in a secret report commissioned by it recently, warned that China is offering a hundred billion dollars worth of loans to Australia's smaller regional neighbours in a bid to gain economic leverage and strategic and military prowess in the Asia Pacific region.

According to an article published by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), at least 16 states, including Vanuatu, The Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Tonga and Micronesia and Papua New Guinea are falling for China's so-called "debt book diplomacy".
For example, the AFR article cites the case of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Historically, it has been in Australia's orbit, and now, news is in circulation that it has accepted Chinese loans that it possibly cannot afford to repay.
What concerns both Washington and Canberra is the fact that PNG is strategically located in the Asia-Pacific region and has significant liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other resource reserves which Beijing could have access to in the long term.
The AFR quotes co-author and Harvard researcher Sam Parker, as saying, "China is giving hundreds of billions to countries that cannot afford to repay it, and it's going to want something in return for that money."
He adds, "China's public-private economic model makes it possible to transform economic debt into strategic influence and wealth."
According to the State Department commissioned secret report, China is spreading its wings in the Asia-Pacific region and is well on its way to ousting the United States as a power to be reckoned with in the region.
Taking advantage of President Donald Trump's lack of economic commitment to the region, Beijing has been providing infrastructure financing to countries through the one trillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), using institutions like the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank.
The State Department commissioned report warns that this "debt book diplomacy is l...

02:42

LNG project that promised economic boom leaves PNG in worse state: report "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Source: Isabel Esterman / Mongabay. 

  • Proponents of PNG LNP, an ExxonMobil-led natural gas project in Papua New Guinea, predicted it would bring massive economic benefits to landowners and to the country as a whole.
  • According to two recent reports by the Jubilee Australia Research Centre, PNGs economy is worse off than it would have been without the project.
  • Jubilee Australia also links the PNG LNG project to an upswing of violence in the areas around the plant.

In 2008, when a consortium led by ExxonMobil was drumming up support for a $19 billion natural gas extraction and processing project in Papua New Guinea, proponents of the development predicted it would underpin the countrys economy for decades.

Production began in 2014, and now reaches approximately 7.9 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas per year. However, according to two recent reports by advocacy group Jubilee Australia Research Centre, the PNG LNG project has not only exacerbated conflict and inequality in the Papua New Guinea highlands, it has also failed to produce the promised benefits. According to Jubilee Australias analysis, PNGs economy would be better off if the gas had been left in the ground.

Predicted economic impacts of the PNG LNG project compared to actual impacts (based on Jubilee Australias analysis of underlying economic trends). While exports have exceeded expectations, GDP growth has been slower than forecast and income, employment and government spending have dropped. Image courtesy of Jubilee Australia.

Big promises

When pitching the project, developers made big promises about the economic and social benefits the megaproject would bring to the country.

One influential 2008 study, an economic impact analysis commissioned by ExxonMobil and authored by Australian con...

02:38

JUSTIN TKATCHENKO FOOLED EVERYONE, EM PASIM AI BILONG YUPLA "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"


JUSTIN TKATCHENKO WAS STILL MP AND GOVERNMENT MINISTER WHILE HOLDING ONTO HIS AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP Where is the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB)? If you are a foreigner and trying to purchase your first property in Australia, your application to purchase is strictly processed by that Board. Ted Taru a PNG National went thru the process, paid a nonrefundable fee of $15,000 to instigate the process. You are asked all sorts of questions like, where did you get the money, how you get it, contract documents, bank accounts etc.....very very scary but he did get his approval and bought the property in Cairns eventually. Now the question is.....was that Gardener cum MP an Australian citizen when he bought those properties? If that was the case he wasn't questioned because he doesn't have to go thru the FIRB as an Australian citizen, and on the other hand, was he qualified and eligible to contest the National Elections if he can easily acquire those properties with ease!? He circumvented laws and regulations here and in Australia! Investigations is a must The owner of a Brookfield property is battling Brisbane City Council and a local residents group to build an aviary big enough to house 600 finches alongside her home. Catherine Tkatchenko, whose husband is Papua New Guinea cabinet minister Justin Tkatchenko, paid $1.77 million for the 34,470sq m Brookfield Road site in 2015. The couple also own a $1.1m house at Fig Tree Pocket, in Brisbanes west. Plans lodged with the council in 2016 proposed a 320sq m house almost 11m in height, 30 aviaries over 380sq m, plus a lake, fountain, pool and small animal stables. In response to the plans, 178 residents lodged objections that raised concerns about noise and odours from the aviaries and stables, and described the buildings as an eyesore. A seven-page submission from the community-based Rural Environment Planning Association said the scale of an...

02:26

Focus on What You Can Do and What You Should Do "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Get distracted by side-events or non-elemental aspects of a game is always disastrous for a soccer team, particularly for a striker or a goal-keeper when facing the ball in the foot or in front of the goal-keeper. Stickers should forget anything and everything else, and focus only on the "ball", when they are in the

Focus on What You Can Do and What You Should Do was originally published on PAPUAPost.com

Continue reading

01:24

Group questions Namatanai MPs stance on seabed mining "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Carmella Gware | Loop PNG | May 19, 2018

recent response by the Namatanai MP on Radio New Zealand over the experimental seabed mining has not gone down well with some locals.

In the May 16th article, Walter Schnaubelt was reported to have said though  too much remained unknown about the environmental impacts of seabed mining, that doesnt mean that we just shut the door.

Schnaubelt further said he was keeping an open mind on potential seabed mining, and he would maintain a neutral stand until adequate information on the benefits of the Solwara 1 project are made available to him.

Following his statement, the Alliance of Solwara Warriors said as an educated elite, Schnaubelt has to come out clear on his stance, as being neutral only indicates two reasons:

  • The benefits of seabed mining to support his election promises
  • And to swing when people react as it will have a political implication
...

01:14

PM O'Neill: Economic growth comes from inclusive spproach "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister Peter ONeill has highlighted the importance of ensuring countries draw on their own internal strengths and capabilities and build partnerships in order to enhance economic development.
ONeill was speaking at the Eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8) on Saturday in Iwaki City, in Japan, where he said co-operation is essential but countries must take charge of their own responsibilities.
While overseas assistance plays an important role in achieving our development goals, we must rely more on ourselves, he said at the PALM8 Meeting.
Driving our own economic growth is fundamental to the development in our country.
And as we have learned in Papua New Guinea, economic growth must be inclusive.
This is an essential part of APEC in 2018 that has the theme of Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future.
Delivering true economic growth is all about building partnerships across the country.
Government cannot advance an economy alone and we must work with the private sector, NGOs and churches to achieve better health outcomes for our people.
This is particularly important in delivering the foundations for any healthy economy, particularly such as sectors including education and healthcare.
We must look at better ways to enhance cooperation in the fields of healthcare, including the way we deal with infectious diseases.
This includes the fight against tuberculosis through the provision of medical equipment and better communication.
PALM, since its inception in 1997, has contributed to critical key development areas in infrastructure, education, health and transportation."
O'Neill further welcomed the proposed PALM Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy that aims to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
This is based on values we all share and the three pillars of the strategy are consistent with our policy agenda.
These include the Pursuit of economic prosperity and Commitment to peace and stability," he said.

01:04

Papua New Guinea states position on North Korea and UN reform "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister Peter ONeill has highlighted Papua New Guineas position on significant regional and global foreign policy issues at the meeting of Pacific Leaders in Japan.
Speaking at the Eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM 8), he highlighted the Governments position in relation to tensions on the Korean Peninsula and reform of the United Nations Security Council.
There is no doubt the we live in complicated times in the global political context, O'Neill said.
There have been changes in the leadership of a number of governments, the Brexit vote and conflict in Syria with all of its human rights ramifications, just to name a few.
It is times like these that Nation States must work together through global forums.
We must work through the United Nations, but we know the UN system has its flaws and is need of reform.
In particular, Papua New Guinea calls for reforms in the United Nations Security Council so that it is more relevant and responsive to security challenges that are faced in the world today.
Leaders at PALM8 further discussed tensions with North Korea and the implications this has at a regional level.
A crucial issue the world is dealing with today is finding a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula," O'Neill said
If conflict was to return there would be serious implications for all nations of the Asia-Pacific.
For many decades, the leadership of North Korea have acted in a deeply disturbing manner and violated acceptable rules of behaviour and decency. 
Papua New Guinea further shares the concerns of the International Community over nuclear tests by North Korea.
Our PALM host, Japan, is further facing an ongoing threat of conflict and the risks posed by missile tests.
We also know of Japanese citizens being abducted, which is a violation of human rights and we support Japan in dealing with this matter.
Papua New Guinea welcomes current negotiations taking place as a means to successfully address the Korean Peninsula issue.
We must always work together and find political solutions in order to prevent war.

00:35

MRA Act changes create uncertainty as mineral prices rise "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Cedric Patjole | Loop PNG | May 19, 2018

Changes to the Mineral Resources Act 1992 have created uncertainty in the mining industry, especially with rising mineral prices.

Former executive director and now advisor to the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Greg Anderson, said this during the Resources Sector Media Workshop.

He said the uncertainty created will determine exploration activity as well as whether mineral projects are developed.

Anderson gave a detailed presentation on the impact of the MRA Act changes. Positives included:

  • The extension of Exploration License term from 2 years to 5 years, and maximum size o shore increased to 10,000km2
  • Documentation required for a Mining License application now prescribed. This includes:
  • Community engagement plan, LIS, social mapping...

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Sunday, 20 May

21:00

Moses Tau: Out of the cage to live a life of joy & giving "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Moses TauKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA The sudden death last week of one of Papua New Guineas best known entertainers has both saddened the nation and raised the hot issue of how PNG treats its gay community.

Moses Tau died soon after collapsing at Port Moresbys Lamana Hotel, triggering an overwhelming response as thousands of messages of condolence inundated the social media.

The Post-Courier newspaper noted perceptively that Tau had made a place for the gay community in PNG by forcing this place through his music and performances.

Government minister Justin Tkatchenko wrote on his Facebook page describing the singer as vibrant and a true showman.

I have lost a wonderful friend who supported me without fear or favour and was so loved and admired by our people. He put fun and joy into our lives, Tkatchenko said.

Joycelin Leahy observed in her Tribal Mystic blog:

From simple beginnings, this very colourful and dangerously outrageous talent started a music career. Little did Papua New Guineans truly understand what Moses was up to. Many ridiculed and laughed at Moses rhythmic hip pulsating dance movements and high pitched feminine voice which quickly became recognised and loved not only in PNG but across the Pacific islands.

When Moses stepped on stage, a new era was born in a country closed to gay rights, dominated by men and the ruled by the cultural Melanesian big man mentality.

Tau himself once said:

It is a very difficult thing in PNG to show your sexuality is very scary, because it is not an accepted thing in PNG. I just want to do what I have and who I am. I also did it not for myself but for the suffering of we people through many years ago.

And I told my friends: look, Ill try it out, if I fail I fail. If I go through it with success, we will all benefit. So Im targeting to educate the people of this nation to really know that theres gays living in Papua New Guinea. So I did it. I went through it. It was very painful.

American law professor Ryan Goodman wrote of Taus emergence:

By the late 1990s, gays were well and truly stigmatised in PNG, That was when a gay Motuan gospel singer from Central Province a...

20:00

Govt must explain why free education is failing - & fix it "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Mai High School
Mai High School - "the government is playing games and sabotaging our rightful basic school services"

JIMMY AWAGL

CHUAVE - The government component of TFFE (tuition fee free education) to schools in Papua New Guinea has been slashed to only 50%.

TFFE subsidies are released to schools each term and are supposed to cover the actual cost of running a school for ten weeks.

The actual school fee per student is divided into two segments: lower secondary (Grades 9 and 10) and upper secondary (Grades 11 and 12). Lower secondary students were allocated K1,300 for 2018 and upper secondary K1,600.

The Education Department under the ministry of Nick Kuman adopted the concept last year. But it was not effectively executed. There was a large amount cut from the money supposed to be paid to schools.

Most people, particularly parents living in remote areas and below the poverty line in urban areas, concluded there is a loophole whereby funds have been diverted to other stakeholders. Whatever the actual policy is now, it has not been made known to schools around the country.

There has been no effective survey to analyse the real cost of running schools, but the new slash funds policy was drafted and accepted for implementation within the Education Department.

How will remote schools in PNG like Karimui, Kairiru Island, Jimi and Telefomin manage to keep their schools open if the cost is triple that of running schools in a city or town?

Mai High School, located on the outskirts of Kundiawa, has 450 student in Grades 9 and 10. For Term 1 this year it received of K61,960.

According to the calculation of K1,300 per student, it was supposed to receive more than twice that - K127,125.

The governing council and the school administration asked the provincial education authority to find out why half of the money had vanished. The question was in vain. No answer was forthcoming.

Then in Term 2, the school received only K25,000. Another slash of K36,960, much less than one-third of what was budgeted.

Why is the gove...

19:00

It wasn't low oil prices that dried up PNG LNG benefits "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Liquid-Natural-Gas-tanker
It wasn't just the LNG tankers that sailed away - the benefits to the people of PNG did too

PAUL FLANAGAN | PNG Economics

Connect here for the complete article including links and references

CANBERRA - The yawning chasm between Papua New Guineas liquefied natural gas (LNG) benefit predictions and its adverse impacts on the PNG economy has little to do with the fall in oil prices. Claiming so is a poor and inaccurate defence.

The PNG LNG modelling done in 2008 accurately predicted export sales revenues for 2015 and 2016. While oil prices were some 25% below the models mid-case scenario, this was fully offset by actual LNG production being some 25% higher than 2008 expectations.

Price falls were matched by production increases sales revenues were as predicted. As the marginal cost of production is low (most costs of LNG production relate to the high initial capital costs), sales revenue is the driver for expected benefits.

Export sales of petroleum products increased by almost exactly the predicted 440% from K2 billion in 2013 to K11 billion in 2016. So the failure of the PNG LNG to deliver benefits as predicated has little to do with the fall in oil prices in 2014.

Of course oil prices did fall from over $US100 per barrel in 2013 to under $US30 per barrel (for a very short time early in 2016). And of course, it would have been really nice for the PNG LNG project and government revenues if the price stayed at $US100 per barrel although less so for PNG motorists.

However, as stated by the chair of Oil Search at the recent annual general meeting, there is a need for a long-term perspective on projects such as PNG LNG which operate for decades.

This long-term perspective is that oil prices from 1980 to 2017 have averaged just over $US40 per barrel considerably lower than the 2015 to 2017 average of $US50 per barrel. Oil prices had jumped strongly upwards in the 2000s, but it w...

11:05

Endocrine Activity of Air Pollutants from Marcellus Drilling & Fracking "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

A doctor for every gland in the body?

Exploring the endocrine activity of air pollutants associated with unconventional oil and gas extraction

Authors: Ashley L. Bolden, Kim Schultz, Katherine E. Pelch and Carol F. Kwiatkowski

Reference: Environmental Health, 17:26, 2018 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-018-0368-z

Manuscript Received: 4 September 2017; Accepted: 20 February 2018; Published: 21 March 2018

Background

In the last decade unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction has rapidly proliferated throughout the United States (US) and the world. This occurred largely because of the development of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing which allows access to fossil fuels from geologic formations that were previously not cost effective to pursue. This process is known to use greater than 1,000 chemicals such as solvents, surfactants, detergents, and biocides. In addition, a complex mixture of chemicals, including heavy metals, naturally-occurring radioactive chemicals, and organic compounds are released from the formations and can enter air and water. Compounds associated with UOG activity have been linked to adverse reproductive and developmental outcomes in humans and laboratory animal models, which is possibly due to the presence of endocrine active chemicals.

Methods

Using systematic methods, electronic searches of PubMed and Web of Science were conducted to identify studies that measured chemicals in air near sites of UOG activity. Records were screened by title and abstract, relevant articles then underwent full text review, and data were extracted from the studies. A list of chemicals detected near UOG sites was generated. Then, the potential endocrine activity of the most frequently detected chemicals was explored via searches of literature from PubMed.

Results

Evaluation of 48 studies that sampled air near sites of UOG activity identified 106 chemicals detected in two or more studies. Ethane, benzene and n-pentane were the top three most frequently detected. Twenty-one chemicals have been shown to have endocrine activity including estrogenic and androgenic activity and the ability to alter steroidogenesis. Literature also suggested that some of the air pollutants may affect reproduction, development, and neurophysiological function, all end...

03:05

Japan, Pacific island nations urge North Korea to denuclearise "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

mainichi.jp | May 19, 2018 


IWAKI, Japan (Kyodo) -- Japan and Pacific island countries on Saturday called on North Korea to take concrete actions toward denuclearisation by complying with United Nations' sanctions over its nuclear and missile development, as they wrapped up a two-day summit meeting in northeastern Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)


In the joint declaration released after the gathering in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and leaders from 14 Pacific island countries expressed deep concerns over the North evading international sanctions by transferring cargoes at sea.

It is the first time for Japan and the Pacific island countries to mention the North Korean issue in their declaration. Japan has hosted a regional summit with the Pacific island nations every three years since 1997.

The participants at the eight Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting also noted the importance of the complete, verifiable and irreversible scrapping of all of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, while stressing the need of an immediate resolution of the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

The declaration also touched on the importance of the maritime order based on the rule of law and welcomed the "free and open Indo-Pacific strategy," a policy the Abe administration has pushed ahead with in an apparent effort to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

In a keynote speech at the outset of the summit, Abe pledged to support Pacific island countries in enhancing their maritime security capabilities, given their vulnerable coastal security.

"Japan will be unstinting in its assistance toward improving countries' capacity to 'protect the sea,' including each country's legal enforcement capabilities," Abe said.

"It is the rule of law that gives protection to the nations, big and small, for their inher...

02:28

Parkop committed to harness full potential of SMEs, Women Economy Empowerment "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Economic empowerment of women will not only help improve the status of women in PNG but also contribute to the country's greater economic and social future, according to NCD Governor Powes Parkop.

"Traditionally women have been wealth creators in PNG. They are the ones who raise pigs, do the gardening apart from caring for their families. This is the strength and potential women have in PNG to improve their own lives and status, and to contribute to a greater social and economic outcome for the nation. This potential must be harnessed to make equality real and to create more wealth for the nation," he said.

Governor Parkop was speaking at a small ceremony today at Nature Park for awarding of 114 Savings Account Passbook for women from Morata who had undergone basic financial literacy training funded by NCDC at end of 2016 under program initiative by late womens champion and Commissioner of the Board of NCDC Ms Janet Sape called Givim Han Long Life.

NCDC has reaffirmed its commitment in ensuring women involving in small-to-medium businesses in the city are empowered as a pathway for helping nationals to take full or major control over the countrys economy.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop said empowerment of women on all fronts was a catalyst to fully advance the countrys development.

What makes a society, a city or nation great-for a brighter future-is by empowering their women. This is a proven pathway that is in our tradition and so we must tap or harness this to secure a better future both economically and socially. It will benefit women and the entire nation said Mr Parkop.

He reminded fellow menfolk to recognize this potential and abilities in women, and to learn to treat them as equal citizens and not as ill-perceived norms and cultures.

Many of the women receiving the passbook were illiterates and they underwent a financial literacy program that qualified then to have their passbook bank accounts opened with Womens Micro Bank.

It was facilitated by Rural and Urban Women Empowerment Foundation, a non-government organisation based at the Morata suburb.

Govenror Parkop paid tribute to late Janet Sape as a passionate and strong advocate for womens empowerment particularly economic empowerment and equality. He also thank Ms Janet Banebo the Executive Director of Urban and Rural Development Foundation for maintaining the program with the passing...

02:24

PNG's successful hosting of international events attribute to Investment, Corporate Sponsors "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

PORT MORESBY: The Papua New Guinea's successful hosting of the international events has been attributed to the governments investment backed by the corporate sponsors according to a State Minister.

In his first official address today to a breakfast in Parliaments State Function Room, honorable William Samb, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Affairs of Bougainville and Sports, none of the major events staged would have taken place without this support.

He was appointed on May 9, 2018.

Just like our business houses, our government led by Prime Minister Peter O Neill recognizes the importance of sport and its role in the community, he told the breakfast attended by members of Carbine International Congress whose main focus is on sports development.

On behalf of the Prime Minister Peter O Neill and his government, Mr Samb commended them for this.

He stepped in for PM ONeill who is away in the Philippines on official engagement.

It is wonderful to know that we have like-minded executives working here in PNG, many of whom have lived here a long time that give so much of their time and funds to supporting sport.

This support ranges from junior development to international representation, he said.

He said the government invested over K1 billion to host the 9th South Pacific Game at facilities that are world class.

I am glad to hear that today you will watch our SP Hunters team play at the new Oil Search National Football Stadium that was completed through a tax credit scheme. I am sure you will have a great afternoon. All the investment by the Government and supported by the private sector is beginning to pay off, he said.

In recent years here are some of our highlights.

1. Hosting the Womens Soccer World Cup 2017 with 50 nations including North Korea Participating
2. SP Hunters win the QLD In trust Cup 2017 after only 4 years in the competition
3. Our Kummuls Rugby League team winning all 3 pool games in the Rugby League Cup in 2017 and holding England to a very respectable score in the Quarter final Success in Rugby Union in particular in the 7s format
4. Winner of the 9th South Pacific Games in 2016 hosted in PNG and including representation from Australia and NZ in selective sports for the first time Medal winning performances at the recent C...

01:23

Japanese WWII veteran working to bring fallen soldiers back to their homeland "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

18 May 2018

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has paid tribute to Japanese World War II veteran, Masai Horie, who works to recover the remains of Japanese soldiers and bring them back to Japan.
Prime Minister ONeill, Horie and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Horie, who was prisoner-of-war in Rabaul in 1945, is 103 years old, has traveled to Papua New Guinea 18 times and is a former member of parliament in Japan.
It was an honour to meet Mr Horie tonight, ONeill said.
His tireless efforts to bring his countrymen home is outstanding and has earned him the highest respect in both of our countries.
"Papua New Guinea is the final resting place of so many courageous men and women from both sides of the war.
Our nation will always accord the highest respect to those still buried in our soil.
We will continue to work closely with Japan in their efforts to repatriate the remains of the fallen, and return them to their homeland."

00:35

PM ONeill arrives in Japan for PALM8 "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

18 May 2018

Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter ONeill, has arrived in Japan for the 8th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (SOM8).
Prime Minister ONeill with Prime Minister Abe and Ms Akie Abe

Held every three years in Japan, the PALM brings Pacific Island Nations together in discussion with Japan to develop initiatives for regional growth and co-operation.
Being held in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, from May 18-19, the Leaders Meeting has the theme We are Islanders Partnership towards Prosperous, Free and Open Pacific".
ONeill welcomed the talks that he said will provide an opportunity for the region to engage with Japan on issues of mutual interest.
Japan is very much involved in projects that strengthen economic advancement and enhance community development around the Pacific, he said.
Papua New Guinea is working with Japan on a number of initiatives that are strengthening infrastructure in our country, particularly as we prepare to host the APEC Summit in November.
"This includes the Port Moresby Sewage System Upgrade Project, the Reconstruction of bridges in East New Britain and capacity building support through the Volunteers Program.
I look forward to the meetings over the coming days and discussion with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as we work together in the interests of improving regional infrastructure."
The PALM Leaders Summit will be co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Japan, and the Prime Minister of Samoa,  as the current Chair of the Pacific Island Forum.

00:03

Phillipines President Duterte welcomes stronger ties with PNG "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Address by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the State Dinner in Manila, 16 May 2018:

Today in our meetings, I have seen the true spirit of friendship and cooperation, having agreed to work together on matters of mutual interest, particularly in increasing an environment of trade and investment, and further strengthening the very important agricultural and fisheries sectors.

Tonight we have strengthened the foundations of mutual respect, not only at the official level, but more at a personal level.
The 35,000 Filipinos living and working in PNG and the hundreds of PNG citizens studying in the Philippines are living truth of friendship that we aim to strengthen in the the years to come.
The Philippines have further deepened our engagements in PNG as we support PM O'Neill's Chairmanship of this year's APEC Leaders Summit.
I am truly honoured for this evening's occassion, as this is your first official visit to the Philippines.
Today will reaffirm this relationship as we celebrate this opportunity to build on from strength to strength.
Today marks a new chapter where we chart a new destiny as sovereign states.

Saturday, 19 May

23:52

APEC Trade Ministers to Seek Common Ground in Port Moresby "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Trade Ministers from the APEC member economies, the worlds largest trading area, are set to convene in Port Moresby in an effort to secure the regions resurgent growth.

In focus during the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting on 25-26 May will be ways to support and improve the multilateral trading system, deepen regional economic integration and connectivity, and foster sustainable, inclusive growth through digital development. This includes promoting ICT use to deepen market access for businesses of all sizes in the region.

Trade Ministers will draw upon policy consultations now underway here by trade and sectoral officials, to conclude with a meeting of APEC Senior Officials on 23-24 May. They will also take into account the findings of the latest APEC Regional Trends Analysis to be revealed on 23 May as well as recommendations from the APEC Business Advisory Council.

We recognize how important a period this is for trade and the momentum our economies need to make progress, said Ivan Pomaleu, Papua New Guineas Ambassador to APEC and 2018 Chair of APEC Senior Officials. Our commitment to seek common ground in APEC is guided by a shared desire to improve the lives of our people.

Growth in the region continues to show encouraging signs but it is vulnerable to growing trade frictions, added Dr Alan Bollard, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat. We need to resolve trade worries, improve coordination to open digital opportunities and help reskill workers to help keep improving peoples livelihoods in the region.

Trade Ministers will consider ideas presented by scholars from the APEC Study Center Consortium as well as policy prescriptions fleshed out by APEC technical working groups. Areas of emphasis will include assisting women-led entrepreneurship and trade, fisheries and food supply chains, and free trade agreements.

Trade Ministers will also take into account a briefing from World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevdo on 25 May.

Ensuring that policy keeps up with the pace of change in the Asia-Pacific and channels innovation in sustainable and inclusive ways is a real challenge in the current environment, Dr Bollard concluded. Working together to advance practical trade solutions to continue the regions growth momentum is important for us all.

23:39

PM O'Neill thanks Philippines for ongoing relationship "IndyWatch Feed Niugini"

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has thanked the President of the Philippines for the ongoing strengthening of relations between the two countries, that is delivering benefits in education, agriculture and healthcare.
He has completed an Official State Visit to the Philippines where he met with Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, senior government officials and business leaders.

ONeill said the major outcome to come from the visit is the reassertion of how close the Philippines is to Papua New Guinea, both in geography and in cultural characteristics.
Our two countries have many similarities, in our governance and legal processes, in our approach to business and in our Christian values," he said.

The Philippines is a very community orientated country with respect for family and tradition.
The islands of the Philippines also share very strong similarities with all island nations around the Pacific.
Now as we increase our co-operation in areas such as agriculture and education, the bonds between our people will continue to grow.

Papua New Guinea has a very close friend in the Philippines.
We have had diplomatic relations for 43 years, but we have been friends for hundreds of years since Filipinos came with the missionaries.

...

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