26 Dec 2018

Bougainvilleans increasingly eyeing independence - Masiu

2:14 pm on 26 December 2018
Timothy Masiu

Timothy Masiu Photo: PNG Parliament

The deputy leader of the Papua New Guinea opposition says people on Bougainville are increasingly keen to vote for full independence.

Tim Masiu, the MP for South Bougainville, was talking about the national government failing to make constitutionally guaranteed payments to Bougainville.

Bougainville is scheduled to hold a vote on whether to retain its current autonomy or become fully independent in June next year.

Mr Masiu said the absence of this funding in the recent Budget might be an oversight, but the people of Bougainville see it as another sign that Port Moresby doesn't care about them.

"I think Bougainville will vote that way unless something absolutely different turns up," he said.

"But from my own understanding and what I am hearing on the ground and what I am hearing from the people it is straight forward independence. So we can find out own money, we can create our own money and wealth and all that stuff to look after ourselves."

Mr Masiu said Bougainville is grateful for the aid assistance it receives from New Zealand, Australia, the World Bank and NGOs.