PNG PM Survives Vote of No Confidence

PNG PM James Marape survived a vote of no confidence in mid-February 2024.

A statement from the Australian Institute of International Affairs:

In mid-February, rather than wait for a vote of no confidence, Marape arranged for a sudden vote of confidence in the parliament. The opposition boycotted the vote allowing Marape to win 84–0 in the 118-seat parliament. The opposition had earlier filed a motion for a vote of no confidence, but the government outmanoeuvred it. Access online HERE


Processing the cocoa beans

Posted late March 2024, ABC News

Papua New Guinea is hoping to take advantage of a global shortage of cocoa in West Africa by dramatically increasing exports. Bad weather, disease, and long-term deforestation in West Africa have resulted in a shortage of cocoa yields in the region. PNG farmers have been reaping extraordinary rewards from the global shortfall. Refer to a longer article HERE.


New Consul-General of PNG to Queensland

Reatau Rau

Congratulations to Mr Reatau Rau who assumed the role of PNG Consul-General in the PNG Consulate-General for Queensland in early 2024. Mr Rau has been invited to the Brisbane PNGAA social gathering in July.




Census 2024

PNG’s Census 2024, commences 17 June, and concludes 30 June 2024.


The Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) announced in February 2024 a five-year extension to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) for its exploration licence for the Panguna project in Central Bougainville. Article HERE.

PNG Security and Civil Defence Corp proposal

Dr. Olugbenga Ige, Senior Research Fellow and Program Leader of the National Security and International Relations at the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PNG NRI), has proposed the establishment of a PNG Security and Civil Defence Corps (PNG-CDC). The concept aims to address trends of human kidnapping and tribal clashes in remote geographical locations.

According to a NRI report, despite several initiatives being devised to address the emerging security threats in PNG, insecurity remains a current social issue in the country.

The PNG-CDC would be designed to protect and assist residents in PNG, safeguard property and the environment in the face of natural and man-made disasters in PNG in line with the mandate of the ICDO (The United Nations, 2013).

The PNG-CDC would further assist in maintaining peace and order and protect and rescue civilians on PNG soil during periods of emergency. The article can be read in full online at: HERE

PNG Seasonal Workers in Australia

Seasonal workers in Australia

Hon. Sir Peter Ipatas GCL, KBE, MP, Governor of Enga Province, visited PNG seasonal workers in March, in Western Australia, Victoria and NSW. The scheme which commenced in 2011 is now called the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM).

Broadcast Thursday, 28 Mar 2024 at 6.30 pm: Find HERE.


New Australian High Commissioner to PNG

Prime Minister James Marape and His Excellency John Feakes

Whilst his appointment was announced in September 2023, Australia’s new High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency John Feakes, officially presented his letter of introduction to Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape in mid-February 2024.

Mr Feakes, a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), was most recently High Commissioner to Fiji. He previously served in a similar role for Australia in Kenya, and as Deputy High Commissioner and Counsellor in PNG, in addition to diplomatic postings in the USA and the Philippines.

Earthquake Hits the Sepik

Locals standing on a road which was damaged by a landslide

A major earthquake hit East Sepik Province, 38 km from Ambunti, at a depth of about 40 km, shaking villages along the Sepik River and in surrounding areas, at about 6.20 am on Sunday, 24 March. Up to 1,000 homes were destroyed and reports mentioned at least three people having died as homes were driven underwater. The region was already feeling the effects of major flooding. Donations from the Australian government included 250 household kits.



WWII Beaufort Bomber Recovered

The mining magnate, Dr Andrew (Twiggy) Forrest financed a crack team of divers on an underwater exploration trip in 2020 to search for his missing uncle and WWII pilot, David Forrest. The search uncovered a Beaufort bomber A9-186 in the waters south of Gasmata, New Britain Province that crashed on 5 September 1943.

In 2022 bone fragments found on the wreckage were recovered and sent for DNA testing. Test results confirmed the identity of two of the four-man crew. The remains of the other two have not been located.

A RAAF memorial service for Warrant Officer Clement Batstone Wiggins, one of the two remains recovered, was held at Ipswich’s Amberley Barracks on 26 April 2024.

The expedition team located another Australian bomber near the coast, with a piece of fuselage and a propeller being brought to the surface for examination. After documentation was completed, the wreckage was returned to the site where it was found.

Courtesy Jemima Burt, ABC News

Qantas Direct Flights

In early April our national carrier launched its inaugural direct weekly service from Sydney to Port Moresby, the first commercial passenger flight between the two cities in more than 50 years.

P’nyang Gas Field

ExxonMobil and the Government of Papua New Guinea signed the P’nyang project gas agreement for the proposed development of the P’nyang LNG project, located in Western Province of PNG. The gas field was first discovered in the 1990s by then operator Chevron Niugini Ltd. The field is intended to expand the PNG LNG Project as well as provide natural gas for power generation.

Currently operated by ExxonMobil Limited, the joint venture partners are Ampolex (PNG) Pty Ltd, Oil Search (PNG) Ltd, Merlin Petroleum Company, and Oil Search Ltd.

Anzac Day 2024

The Australian and PNG Prime Ministers hiked sections of the Kokoda Trail before attending the Anzac Dawn Service at the Isurava Memorial.


Worked for Burns Philp in Popondetta and Port Moresby from 1980 through 1987

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