NCD Governor slams Australian Government on off-shore refugee policy

National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop has blasted the Australia Government for forcing PNG’s Government to accept the Manus Regional Processing Centre deal.

Parkop made this comment during the World Refugee Day commemoration in Port Moresby, which was attended by the Australia High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Bruce Davis.          

"In Papua New Guinea, we have our refugees; it's not a new phenomenon,” Parkop said, referring to displaced people as a result of tribal fights and now climate change.

“We know we have been forced into this situation with the Australia Government.

"High Commissioner, I am one of the MPs who has been against what is happening at the Manus Detention Centre.

"I am not afraid to say that I think it’s wrong because these refugees did not want to come to Manus Island.

"We (the PNG Government) had bent our rules to facilitate this, but it is still not right, because that it is not our culture.

"The culture that is being imposed on us by the Australian Government is not our culture to put people in detention centres and pick them up.

"You (Australia) have a big land mass and bigger economy, you can accommodate them.

"It’s good the Supreme Court had ruled against the Centre, so Australia will know it's not our culture,” Parkop said.

Meanwhile, the Australian High Commissioner praised PNG for demonstrating leadership by resettling genuine refugees.   

"Papua New Guinea has its very own proud tradition of resettling refugees, from both within the region and beyond,” Davies said.

"It is in part because of Papua New Guinea’s support that we have been able to focus our attention to address these global issues.”

Charles Yapumi