27 May 2013

Papua focus for Australia's Democratic Labour Party

1:59 pm on 27 May 2013

A minority party in Australia has made the plight of West Papuans the main thrust of its foreign policy ahead of the September federal election.

The Democratic Labour Party, whose leader John Madigan was elected to the Senate in the 2010 poll, says the Indonesian government should immediately allow United Nations observers and international journalists into West Papua.

It also says Indonesia should be called to fully implement the special autonomy provisions enacted by its own laws in 2000 and remove all military personnel without delay.

The party is calling for a new vote for independence by the indigenous people of West Papua, after a period of autonomy.

Mr Madigan says a greater proportion of Australia's aid provided to Indonesia should go to assist West Papuans, particularly for matters concerning poverty and health, such as combatting the high level of AIDS.