Australia

Supreme Court rules detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal

The five-man bench of the court ruled the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the PNG constitution.

There are 850 men in the detention centre on Manus Island, about half of whom have been found to be refugees.

The Supreme Court has ordered the PNG and Australian Governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of asylum seekers in PNG.

The centre operators and PNG's immigration authorities have recently been trying to move refugees out of detention and into a so-called transit centre.

West Papuans object to Indonesian envoy idea

Indonesia's Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said he would propose assigning a Foreign Ministry official to engage with Pacific neighbours and advance Indonesia's commitment to resolving complicated issues surrounding Papua.

Incentive Fund program focuses on women empowerment

The program recently introduced a new requirement that eighty per cent of all funded projects have a focus on empowering women and girls.

Over the past 15 years, the program, now in its fourth phase, has supported more than 60 projects, and women and girls across PNG have been significant beneficiaries.

Health projects such as those in Alotau, Kudjip and Mingende hospitals, received improved maternal care facilities, whilst other health projects provided indirect benefits to women and girls.

Tribal fights are an evil that must end – Powi

Powi said there is no space for tribal fights in his province and called on the people to embrace change.

He was responding to new reports of killings and the possible eruption of tribal fights in the province.

He is calling on the people of Upper Mendi, Nipa and Nembi Plateau local level Governments areas led by the community, church leaders and the presidents to take control of the situation.

Fiji win for Cyclone victims

Having not won since the opening tournament in Dubai, two tries from Kitione Taliga and one from Savenaca Rawaca plus three crucial conversions from Vatemo Ravouvou proved the difference in front of 25,981 on a windy day in Las Vegas with the players dedicating the win to those back home.

"One week after Cyclone Winston struck we went back into camp and all the players said we were going to play here in Vegas," said captain Osea Kolinisau.

Australia signs new aid partnership with PNG

The partnership will look to advance PNG's social and economic development, and deliver vital infrastructure including roads to ensure services reach more people and improve access to markets.

Women's economic empowerment will be a key focus of the partnership which also aims to address PNG's chronic family and sexual violence issues, enabling more women to break the poverty cycle.

These were central to discussion at last week's 24th Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum in Canberra.

Pacific countries to benefit more from seasonal workers program

That’s over and above those who came to Australia under the earlier seasonal worker pilot programme, said Minister for Trade and Investment, Senator Richard Colbeck.

“We are in the process of negotiating an updated seasonal worker programme MOU with participant countries and we will sign an updated MOU with the Solomon Islands, and we're very pleased to be doing that.

Australia boosting diplomatic presence in PNG

In a statement the Australian government says Lae, as PNG's commercial capital, is integral to Australia's US$13.7 billion investment in the country.

Australia also provides PNG with US$393 million dollars in annual aid support.

It said the consulate-general will boost Australia's presence and bolster the growing trade and investment relationship.

The announcement came during the annual Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum in Canberra.

Seasonal farm workers treated badly

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: A group seasonal workers from Fiji and Tonga came to Australia with the promise of earning good money to send home to their families. But that's not how things have worked out.

Since they arrived last month under the official program, the fruit and vegetable pickers have been shocked and disappointed. Some of them earn just a few dollars a day after deductions.

Manus infrastructure better protected from the sea

The new sea wall will help protect this vital economic artery from erosion and flood damage caused by waves and high tides and facilitates all weather access. The construction of this sea wall forms part of Australia’s ongoing project to upgrade and reseal the road from Momote Airport to Lorengau Town.