Australia

Australia and PNG officials to meet to discuss processing centre

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has confirmed following a discussion with the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull.

They discussed issues relating to the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Manus Regional Processing Centre and the action that is required to comply with that decision.

O’Neill said in a statement that from this discussion, they have agreed that a delegation of officials from the Australian Government will visit Port Moresby next week to meet with our officials.

Iranian refugee dies of burns in Australian hospital

The 23-year-old man was flown to Australia yesterday, 24 hours after he set himself ablaze in apparent protest in front of visiting United Nations officials.

But he died of his injuries in a Brisbane hospital on Friday afternoon.

In a statement, Australia's immigration minister, Peter Dutton, said appropriate support was being provided to the man's wife and friends.

His death will be referred to the Queensland coroner.

He was one of six people sent by Australia to Nauru who harmed themselves this week.

All eyes on Aus and PNG govts after court ruling

Yesterday, PNG's Supreme Court ruled Australia's regional processing centre on PNG's Manus island was illegal because it amounted to holding people against their will.

A five-judge bench ordered the PNG and Australian governments to immediately take steps to end the detention of 850 asylum seekers and refugees in the centre.

However, in the wake of the ruling Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said detainees on Manus would not be brought back to 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.