Friday, September 23, 2016


When the controversial prime minister of Papua New Guinea , Peter O'Neill, came to Townsville  for  the   funeral of  local  businessman   Sir Mick   Curtain  you would  think  that  the  media  would  have  a big  list of  questions on many  subjects  to  ask  him . Like :

*Why  have  you failed to comply , for  two years ,  with a  warrant  for your  arrest  on  allegations  of  corruption ? Is  it  a  political conspiracy ?
* Having  survived  a  no confidence  vote in  July , in which it has  been  reported that   votes   were   "bought "   with   cheques  diverted    from    various   funds   , how do  you  think  you  will  go  in  the  next  year's election ? 
*What is  your  response   to the recent ABC television documentary which   showed  that  in the Highlands  the  local schoolteacher had not been  paid for months  and   children were  sitting on the  school floor because  no  furniture had been provided ?
*Why  have  there  been protests  against you  by  students , doctors, pilots  and port workers ?
* What  is being done to improve the PNG   health system , reports having highlighted  gross   inadequacies and  concern  about  drug resistant TB spreading   into   Queensland  via  Cape York?
*What is your reaction to the Singapore court  case , resulting  in the jailing  of two people, in which it  was alleged this  month that    one million   dollars ,  meant  for  PNG   community colleges , had been laundered through the  account of the founding  PNG prime minister, Sir Michael Somare ,  which  he has  denied ?  
* Why were  the funds of the  PNG anti corruption squad, Task Force Sweep , cut  by your  government ?  
There are other questions that  could have been asked in Townsville , including the claims  that  money diverted from  PNG   has  been used to  buy  real estate in  North  Queensland. Manus detention  and settlement of refugees in PNG ?So  did the Townsville  media raise any of these obvious questions  with the PM? Apparently ,  not one . 
However, the Murdoch Townsville Bulletin  ran a  piece  which  read like another North  Queensland  media   cargo  cult story   about  the possibility of a direct  Air  Nuigini (sic,three times ) service between  Townsville and  PNG providing    employment and investment opportunities .  Beaming  O'Neill  was  quoted  as  saying he wanted the  link  yesterday .

The report  did not mention  the fact that  Qantas  is  dropping   its   Cairns-Port Moresby direct flights   from  the  middle of  next  month , Air  Niugini   , correct spelling  , increasing  the  service , the Cairns office pictured above  . It would have been interesting  to know what  PM  O'Neill  felt  about Qantas  pulling  out of PNG. A few days later , the Townsville Bulletin had another  go at the story in which  it  managed to  correctly spell  Air Niugini   seven  times and excitedly said the  "buzz" is  growing  about  possible  flights  to  Port Moresby .  

Air  Niugini  inflight magazine Paradise ,September - October  1990 , illustrates Great  White Bwana   introducing  snooker  to   PNG  ;  the wartime  cargo  cult  in  which all manner of  goodies  could be  expected  to  drop out of  the sky   continues  right  up  to  today in  isolated  media   tribes   on   nearby   mainland  Australia .