17 Oct 2011

Australian blind eye to corruption money hampering regional development: academic

3:58 pm on 17 October 2011

An Australian academic says the government's failure to investigate Australia's role in Pacific money laundering is hampering its development and governance goals in the region.

Jason Sharman is a professor at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University.

He says a lot of money is stolen by way of corruption, especially from Papua New Guinea.

"From what we know about the way senior officials steal money they tend to move it offshore so that it's out of the jurisdiction that they live in and that there's been a history of senior officials from Papua New Guinea and politicians owning expensive real estate in Australia which in some ways seems to be living beyond their means."

Professor Jason Sharman says although it's not a difficult problem to address, denial and a fear of diplomatic wrangling with PNG are two factors in the lack of political will to do so.