PNG to review naval base deal

PAPUA New Guinea's government says it will review an agreement with Australia to develop a naval base on Manus Island.
PNG to review naval base deal PNG to review naval base deal PNG to review naval base deal PNG to review naval base deal PNG to review naval base deal

Staff Reporter

The agreement, joined by the US when PNG hosted APEC in 2018, was billed as a deal to upgrade PNG Defence Force facilities at Lombrum Naval Base on Manus.
 
It would also allow Australian and US military forces access to the base.
 
But Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin has warned parliament that his people have been treated with contempt in relation to the agreement, Radio New Zealand International reported.
 
"Australia promised a whole shopping list of development packages - hospitals, schools, highways and so on which has remained undelivered to date," he said.
 
"Local construction companies are being denied opportunities because none of these local companies have Australian tax file numbers."
 
In response to Benjamin, the Foreign Minister Patrick Pruaitch said a review had been ordered into the deal.
 
Pruaitch, speaking shortly before he was suspended as an MP for an alleged misconduct case, suggested the agreement had been mishandled by the former government of Peter O'Neill.
 
Pruaitch said the Department of Foreign Affairs had been left out of negotiations for the deal, as well as the signing. But despite Pruaitch's sidelining as an MP, the government would still continue with the review.
 

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