8 Sep 2003

PNG public sector unions call on Canberra to respect PNG rights

4:21 pm on 8 September 2003

Papua New Guinea's Public Sector Unions are calling on Australia to respect the rights of the Somare government to manage the country's finances.

Napoleon Liosi from the Combined Public Sector Unions says while it is understandable that Australia would want tighter control over aid funds, it should not compromise PNG's independence.

His comments come as the PNG cabinet is meeting today to discuss a response to Australia's plans to review its 200 million US dollar aid to PNG.

Australia has reportedly proposed placing Australian public servants in PNG government departments as part of its campaign to improve governance.

Mr Liosi says given that this is a government to government matter, the unions and public sectors have no choice but to accept if it is decided to place Australians in government departments.

He says whatever the two governments decide, the main issue is that PNG's right to financial sovereignty is respected.