19 Apr 2006

Australian poll backs Papua self-determination

3:53 pm on 19 April 2006

A new opinion poll in Australia shows that over 75 percent of those questioned support self determination and the option of independence for the Indonesian province of Papua.

The nationwide poll of 1,200 people was commissioned by Australian businessman Ian Melrose.

It shows that for every Australian who backs Mr Howard's recognition of Papua as part of Indonesia, 15 want Papuans to have a vote on independence.

The Australian opposition Greens leader, Bob Brown, says the Prime Minister is out of touch with Australian values.

The party leader says Mr Howard must elevate the Papuan's desire for freedom in future discussions with Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The Australian Greens, who are backing a proper United Nations act of self-determination for Papua, say they will move a new motion on the issue in the next Senate sitting in two weeks.