Participation in AFL grows in PNG and Fiji

AFL Development Coordinator South Pacific Simon Highfield confirmed this after a successful turnout in the Under 16 program that accommodated 25 players from Nauru, PNG, Vanuatu and Fiji, earlier this month.

“Although AFL may not be THE major sport of PNG or Fiji, the participation rate is growing rapidly, and we are finding more and more boys, girls, men and women playing our game in some capacity.”

Oceania tennis lament relegation

The regional team failed to win a match in their first appearance in 18 years after being swept 3-0 by China, Indonesia and South Korea to finish bottom of Pool B, consigning them to automatic relegation back to Group Two in 2020.

Team Captain Gilles De Gouy said the players failed to take their chances against more experienced opposition.

Nestlé uses PNG and Vanuatu beans for new volcanic KitKat

Beans from the two Melanesian countries are a central part of the blend in Nestlé Japan's new Sublime Volcanic KitKat launched this week in Tokyo.

It comes in a series of three flavours from volcanic islands of the Pacific.

The Vanuatu flavour is sourced Malakula Island, the Papua New Guinea flavour is from Karkar Island, and the Philippines bar from Mindanao Island.

One of the world's biggest food and health companies, Nestlé has also been sourcing palm oil for some of its products from a supplier destroying rain forests in Indonesia's Papua region.

‘Strong signs of economic recovery’

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says they expect this growth trend to continue into the next medium term.

Business houses at this morning’s Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast were told that the Government intends to ensure that the economy continues its steady growth over a long period of time.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill also used the opportunity to reveal that Cabinet approved the 2019 budget yesterday.

“And that again shows a strong sign of recovery. The indications are very, very positive,” he said at the Hilton Hotel this morning.

Electoral Roll update and verification be prioritised

 This was one the recommendations by Transparency International PNG’s observation report on the 2017 National General Elections at the state of the pacific conference, held in Canberra Australia.

Executive Director of TIPNG, Arianne Kassman, was part of a panel focused on the 20-17 National General Elections in PNG, together with the Australian National University Observer team.  

Australian base in PNG would be of little benefit - academic

The government is said to be in talks with PNG to establish a joint naval base.

While Canberra has not confirmed the plans, it has commissioned a US$3 million infrastructure upgrade at PNG's Lombrum naval base on Manus Island.

PNG's defence minister is also reported as saying talks are underway.

Massey University's Anna Powles said Australia seems to be wanting to increase its military presence in the region.

Australian soldiers set to train in PNG

Full details of the proposal haven’t been disclosed, but the ABC reported plans were well advanced.

These would be similar to the long running Rifle Company Butterworth deployments where a company of Australian soldiers – three platoons of just over 100 soldiers – spend three months training for jungle warfare in the Malaysian jungle.

Call for consultation in PNG as plans for an Australian navy base are raised

Australian media have been reporting that its government is hoping to establish a naval presence at the PNG Navy base on Manus Island.

It would be, in part, an effort by Canberra to counter a growing Chinese presence in the Pacific, which it is growing increasingly anxious about.

PNG defence minister Solan Mirisim has confirmed negotiations are taking place for a base and training facility.

Former commander Jerry Singirok told EMTV says any decision must be widely debated in the public.

Governor of Indonesia's Papua province visits PNG capital

Lukas Enembe travelled to Port Moresby to attend celebrations to mark PNG's 43rd anniversary of independence.

Mr Enembe, who was recently re-elected as governor of Indonesia's eastern-most province, led a delegation of 21 people to Port Moresby.

He was invited by the governor of PNG's National Capital District, Powes Parkop.

Mr Parkop has this month spoken out about human rights abuses in Indonesia's Papua region, widely known as West Papua.

He was critical of both PNG and Indonesian governments for not confronting the West Papuan rights issue openly.

PNG in top ten countries with worst tuberculosis incidence

The World Health Organisation's Global Tuberculosis Report 2018 says the global TB incidence rate is falling by roughly 2 percent a year.

However, some parts of the world are experiencing a crisis of multidrug-resistant TB, in particular China and India.

PNG is also struggling to contain multidrug-resistant TB, and is identified as being among ten countries with the highest TB burden based on incidence per capita.