12 Apr 2005

PNG provincial governor says the country has the ability to run itself without aid donor help

8:12 pm on 12 April 2005

The Governor of the Papua New Guinea province of Morobe, Luther Wenge, says Papua New Guinea has become too dependent on Australia and many links should be cut.

Mr Wenge's comments come amid a diplomatic standoff after Australia rejected demands it apologise for subjecting PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, to a security check at Brisbane airport last month.

He says there is too much reliance on Australia when PNG is a resource rich country with the skills to look after itself.

Mr Wenge says arrangements such as the Enhanced Cooperation Programme, which is aimed at boosting capacity are not needed, because PNG already has the necessary skills.

"We have intellectual people here, who were educated in this country, who have been educated in Australia and New Zealand and other parts of the globe, who are capable of advising giving us the salient advice to take this coutnry forward."