31 May 2005

A PNG governor wants evidence of widespread corruption claims

7:36 pm on 31 May 2005

A leading opponent of the Australian aid programme in Papua New Guinea has rejected claims that a corrupt political and bureaucratic elite is enriching itself at the expense of the majority.

Professor Helen Hughes from Australia's Centre for Independent Studies says this elite, along with local police, helped force the Australian police, who had been in PNG under the ECP, out of the country.

Morobe provincial governor, Luther Wenge, who initiated the successful legal challenge that the police deployment was unconstitutional, says claims of widespread corruption in PNG are nothing new.

He says the current Government has often made similar statements and he has called on them to substantiate the claims.

"And they have failed to provide any evidence on the floor of parliament. Now these are very serious allegations. To be believed, in all fairnesss, Professor Hughes must come out and say that there is evidence to substantiate that."