10 Sep 2003

Chan warns Somare over PNG's aid spat with Australia

4:42 pm on 10 September 2003

A former Papua New Guinea Prime Minister is warning the Somare government not to offend Australia over the aid issue as it may not find funds from other countries.

Sir Julius Chan says countries may shy away from PNG, if Australia decides to cut its aid of 200 million US dollars.

Canberra has accused Port Moresby of mismanaging the funds and there are reports it wants Australian public servants placed in PNG government departments to monitor the monies.

Sir Julius says PNG must tread carefully in dealing with Australia.

"Australia in the last few years has made some very unprecedented decisions overseas and they could just simply cut aid. Other countries, particularly in South East Asia, they regard Papua New Guinea as still a colony of Australia. So if Australia starts reducing aid, I doubt very much we're going to get aid from those parts of the world because I agree with Downer, I don't agree with him on too many things, but he was quite right to say they're non donor countries."

Sir Julius Chan

Joshua Kalinoe, the special envoy for PNG's Prime Minister is in Canberra to deliver Sir Michael Somare's response to Australia's demands.