O'Neill's failure means less money in Bougainville Budget

9:28 am on 17 December 2018

Bougainville's MPs go into a Budget debate this week knowing that they will have much less money to allocate because the Papua New Guinea government has not made a constitutionally guaranteed grant.

Flag of autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Photo: manganganath/123RF

When last month's national Budget was released the Restoration and Development Grant, which Port Moresby is required to pay under the Bougainville Peace Agreement, was missing.

President John Momis said he was assured by the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill that the omission was an oversight and would be corrected.

But he said that was a month ago and nothing had happened.

He is blaming bureaucrats in the PNG government.

"Maybe some of the bureaucrats at the national level don't want to know the Peace Agreement commitments the national government has. We have meetings with the politicians, they agree, but when it comes to implementation I think they see the autonomous government as a burden.

"The people of Bougainville are saying, well, if that's the case, let us go, free yourselves of Bougainville by getting rid of it."

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