An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Monday, December 20, 2004

In The Press

PNG is getting a bit of press down here for once. Perhaps it is the fact that a there has recently been a joint ministerial forum that has been held between the two countries in Lae of all places. Alexander Downer was there, so was that big cheese Amanda Vanstone. Quite a few things have been discussed and a lot of them good ideas by the sounds of it.

Vanstone was there on behalf of the idea of giving Working Holiday visas to PNG nationals. A good idea if you ask me. Get some of the youth up there down here to work for a while and see how things are done in a developed nation and then let them port those skills and ideas back into their own nation. The only problem I can see is how are they going to afford to get down here in the first place.

Downer was there because the Aussie cops are out on the beat in Port Moresby now - here is a good non partisen view. There are really only a handful that are in the country at present and as to what real difference they will make is debatable. In fact in total there will be only 200 cops around the country - hardly enough to dent crime, though it should have a better effect and help sort out the corrupt local cops.

Of course it is not just PNG that has its problems. There are plenty of them here too. I was reminded of this when I went out on Friday night with guys I used to work with and then came home late. Outside a local pub close by were a stack of cop cars, including detective and forensic ones. At 7:30 I was awoken by a banging on my front door. I answered it to a young copper who was taking statement to see if I had seen anything happen around 12:30 the night before. I told him I was out and then asked what happen.

It seems that the owner of the pub had been hit with one of his bar stools by some drunken yobs. The incident has gained a bit of press. The latest today being that the owner has now died. Just goes to show that it is not only PNG that can be a violent place. It is everywhere.