12 Sep 2003

PNG says Australian aid benefits Australians

12:25 pm on 12 September 2003

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has revealed figures showing most of the two hundred million US dollars of Australian aid flows back to Australia.

The spat over aid with Canberra has deepened with Sir Michael Somare rejecting claims that he asked Australia to give PNG a blank cheque.

And he told Parliament that he had coined the term boomerang aid.

Sir Michael also said that 31 percent of the money went to Australian consultants and another 38 percent to Australian contractors.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby Peter Niesi says neither country has indicated just what it wants from the aid review, but he says Sir Michael's comments point to a hope this imbalance will be addressed.