Peter O'Neill

Manus Island Regional Processing Centre to close soon

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when meeting his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull during the 24th PNG-Australia Ministerial Forum discussed progress in processing asylum seeker claims and the refugee resettlement program.

O’Neill said the processing of asylum seeker claims takes time, and both sides are working to see the centre closed in the future.

“It has served the purpose to stop people smuggling and the loss of life at sea, and at the appropriate time it will close.

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.

PNG concedes it can't resettle Manus asylum seekers

During a visit to Canberra, Peter O'Neill said the facility must eventually close.

Comments from the Papua New Guinea prime minister that Australia's asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island has hurt the country's reputation have come as no surprise to some.

The newspaper, The Age, reported him as saying his government couldn't afford to resettle those found to be refugees.

It was Mr O'Neill who signed a 2012 agreement with then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard to reopen it.

Opposition predicts cash flow situation

They predicted that before the mid-year the nation would experience a deficit of over K1 billion. 

The Opposition is concerned that there is either no understanding of the actual situation or  the professional political negligence on the side of those in control. 

Polye believes that raising finance for meeting fixed commitments and priorities like health, education and infrastructure maintenance will be extremely difficult. 

“The local market has lost its appetite for Treasury Bills and Inscribed Stocks. 

PM’s contempt motion against Koim dismissed

Justice Collin Makail in his ruling this morning found the application was incompetent and upheld Sam Koim’s objection to the motion to dismiss it.

The motion was moved on Nov 19, 2015 by the Prime Minister‘s lawyer, Mal Varitimos. The motion alleged that Koim breached an order of the National Court from July 2014.  

That order was issued restraining him from discussing matters relating to the proceeding in the public including the media (whether print, electronic, social or otherwise).

Kua alludes to financial disaster looming

He said Papua New Guineans will soon pick up the pieces of this colossal financial disaster come March 13, 2016 when the UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland) collar loan facility matures and falls due.

Kua in a statement said the government would need to repay this debt by settling the A$900 million (K1.8 billion) to UBS or refinance the current existing facility with an additional and more expensive short-term debt facility.

Polye takes PM to task over government-induced economic problems

Polye said this after ascertaining the PM, urging exporters to bring their off-shore funds to cushion the current shortage of foreign exchange.

He said he also understood there were plans afoot for the Prime Minister and his government to review the terms and conditions under the controversial Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) K3 billion loan agreement.

“Well-placed sources tell me that Mr O’Neill’s Public Enterprise Minister William Duma and, Petroleum and Energy Minister Ben Micah are working on this arrangement.

Gov't lack effective disaster response

Mr Polye has slammed the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for directing his government’s response through the District Development Authorities.

He said such direction had forced the DDAs to forgo priority infrastructures when the funds were mobilized for relief supplies or vice versa.

“Open MPs chair the boards and often appoint their political allies to dominate the boards.

“Researchers and other experts have described how some MPs direct relief efforts to their political supporters rather than according to the communal need,” said Polye.

PNG to help Tonga with Pacific Games

This announcement was made today after a meeting with Prime Minister of Tonga Akilishi Pohiva.

O’Neill says PNG will help build the main stadium that will host track and field events and also help build the High Performance Centre.

He says PNG has experience in in hosting such events in difficult circumstances.

“Our experts will be available if they require assistance,” O’Neill says.

To emphasise PNG’s promise to assist the Sports and Tourism Minister Justin Tkatchenko will lead a delegation to Tonga to assess areas in which PNG can provide help.

PM farewells US Ambassador

PM O’Neill made the comments following a farewell call from Ambassador North prior to his return to the United States at the end of this month.

The Prime Minister further thanked Ambassador North for his commitment to empowering communities and enhancing social relations between the people of Papua New Guinea and the United States.

“Ambassador North has a genuine commitment to community development and improving living standards for our people,” the Prime Minister said.