19 Aug 2010

PNG group says Australia aid doesn't trickle down to the Papuan provinces

6:31 pm on 19 August 2010

A Papua New Guinea group says much of the country is denied access to the hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian aid paid each year.

The group, from the original Australian colony on New Guinea island, known until World War Two as Papua, has for six years been calling for Canberra to acknowledge that they are still Australian citizens.

Spokesperson Jonathan Jay Baure says there was never any referendum on independence and the group wants a chance to determine its own destiny.

And he says the northern and highlands provinces, which were once called German New Guinea and which provide most of the MPs, also garner most of the Australia aid dollars.

"So any money that Australia gives is controlled by New Guinea. You see every development in PNG goes to New Guinea not to Papua. Now if you look at all the Papuan provinces there is no development there. So of course Australia can give all this aid but it does come directly to the Papuan people, it is controlled by New Guinea. We want direct input from Australia."

Jonathan Jay Baure.

The Papuan group is planning a canoe invasion of Australia to make its point after being ignored by the Australian High Commission this week.