Julie Bishop visiting Manus

Australia’s Opposition Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop is in Papua New Guinea this week on a fact-finding mission. Her trip follows the Australian Government’s response to a review of its development aid funding and priorities.

Australia provides nearly $500 million a year in development aid to PNG and Ms Bishop has led opposition complaints that it has been wasted on highly paid advisors. It is interesting that her trip comes after a letter written directly to Ms. Bishop by a PNG supporter. Among other things she noted that the cost of each adviser to the Australian taxpayer was $665,909 per year.

Besides the costs to Australian taxpayers her major reason for traveling here is due to the Australian Governments plans to reopen the Asylum processing facility in Manus Province. It would certainly be a little boost to the economy there. But it would be very important that all businesses and the Province be tightly integrated into the developments so that that they fully benefit from the project.

It would be a pointless exercise to Manus if the Asylum facility forced real estate and food prices upwards like what has been seen in the Solomon Islands with the presence of RAMSI there.

You can read more on Ms. Bishop at her website here.



5 thoughts on “Julie Bishop visiting Manus

  1. Straight to the point I like to say before any deal is done can the government of PNG ask Australia to fix up their immigration restrictions relating to visitor VISA , surely they have records on who breaks visa regulations and not to label all Papua New Guineans the same ; huh what you all say ?

  2. Well looks like something has come out of this trip:

    “Australia must shift its focus from being an aid donor to Papua New Guinea towards becoming an economic partner, the federal opposition says.

    In a speech to the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney on Wednesday, opposition spokesman for Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop outlined the coalition’s plans for Australia’s relationship with the island nation.

    During the speech, Resetting the Relationship: The future of Australian engagement with Papua New Guinea, Ms Bishop said that as PNG’s economic future brightens, our relationship with it must change.

    “Australia’s development assistance to Papua New Guinea, estimated to be $482 million in 2011 to 2012 has declined as percentage of PNG’s GDP over the years,” Ms Bishop said….”

    Read More: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8278216/australia-must-shift-relationship-with-png

    1. Emmanuel, Thank you for that ‘ninesms new’.It definately is a shift in the right direction from reading her speech.Right at the end she said and I quote; ‘From my perspective,our relationship with PNG must be one of our highest foreign priorities’ end of quote.

      From my perspective any change in any relationship is a good thing and I hope this change will come soon. Also she makes a mention of, ‘however,at the same time,unemployment is high and civil unrest is growing’.How very true! and yet so frastrating to see it happening!

      This huge untapped area of need is the reason we see the uneven distribution of labour and ‘china man and his maffia’ has got the upper hand : and is one of the causes of civil unrest since we gain self governance.(more so the last few years)This is a huge untapped and less thought of areas of ( Human) development successive PNG government greatly neglected. It all boils down to education,and what happens to all those that drop out of the system of education in PNG.Very obvious to all of us disillusionment would have seat in and the rest is history of crime.

      Does PNG have in its governmental structure Papua New Guineans who can sit down and work out,straterize and generally have the nations peoples welfare at the centre of their thinking to put to stop this unfair distribution of development that is happening right now.

      Ask yourself is my family,wantoks and friends benefting from all this hype of activity. Unfair is what you see in this distribution then my wantok, we will have to act, quickly and soon.Election is coming vey soon.

      A nations success depends on man power and when this is neglected you can expect all the “ILLS” of that neglect.

      We have a whole heap of people sitting around waiting for the next election for handouts,able bodied young men sitting around in groups doing nothing and smoking “brus nogut”.What are wasted human energy!

      Make your vote count……….

      1. What PNG desperately needs is strong and ethical leadership. Without that, nothing can change.

        The nation’s Constitution has been ignored, the courts and judicial system frustrated and starved of funds and training and an almost a total lack of responsible and accountable political leaders who are only focused on their own self agrandisement and wealth accumulation.

        Yet the real problem is at the kunai roots where until voters start thinking in terms of national pride and attainable goals rather than ‘wantokism’ and regional loyalties, nothing will change.

        The message must be taken to those who elect the next parliament. Yet even now there are some who are trying to muzzle those who want to fully inform rural PNG with threats and intimidation.

        Maybe Emmanuel needs to have another look at the ‘Tanim Graun’ concept and simplify it with personal interviews with those who can speak out and tell it like it is?

        Do you have any talk back radio shows that could be prepared to air public commentary and inspired political comment?


    The Gillard government has some tough questions to answer on its plans to reopen the PNG Manus Island detention centre, the Australian Greens say.
    The federal government and Papua New Guinea signed a memorandum of understanding on reopening Manus Island to process asylum seekers on Friday.
    Greens immigration spokeswoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said she’ll be pushing for an inquiry into the deal.

    “We do need to have parliamentary scrutiny,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

    More on that story here:


    The Australian Human Rights Commission is urging the government to scrap plans to resurrect an immigration processing centre in Papua New Guinea.

    A deal to reopen the Manus Island facility was signed last Friday and the Immigration department said it wanted to begin processing asylum seekers there as soon as possible.
    But the Commission’s president, Catherine Branson, said she was concerned problems experienced at the centre under the previous government might be repeated.

    “We do have a memory of the serious mental harm that people held on Manus Island – for long and uncertain periods of time – experienced,” she said.

    “We really don’t want that to happen again.” Big business and prominent Australians from a broad spectrum of industry and politics have backed a call for the scrapping of mandatory detention for asylum seekers. They support a return to a bipartisan – or politically cooperative – approach.

    Read More Here

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