22 Dec 2014

Australia blamed for PNG colonial problems

7:14 am on 22 December 2014

A long time campaigner for the independence of Papua New Guinea's Papua region, says Australia is to blame for ignoring advice to make two countries out of its colony in 1975.

Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea

Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied

Since before independence Dame Judith Abaijah has led a campaign for the independence of PNG's Papua, Western, Gulf, Central, Milne Bay and Oro provinces from the northern New Guinea region.

"We are just sad that Australia has done this thing to us, and we feel that Papua has a history and we are just going by the history of what our colonial misssionaries had done for us. They wrote that Australia should just look after us and prepare us for independence - not to unite with anybody."

Dame Judith Abaijah says Port Moresby's plans for a highway connecting Papua and the Highlands has galvanised renewed interest in independence with protests held in the capital.

She says PNG's political leaders so far have treated their concerns as non-relevant.