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Opening of Mount Hagen Show

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(Speech by the Minister for External Territories, the Hon. C.B. Barnes, I.I.P.)

Attached for the information of press is the text of a speech to be given by the Minister for External Territories, Mr Barnes at the opening of the Mount.Hagen Show in Papua and New Guinea on 30 August.

ELIBARGO: The text is.embar oed until 12 noon on Saturday, Augus30 .



29 August, 1969.





30 AUGUST 9 1,69

The Mt Hagen Show is always a memorable event. Twenty years ago Mt Hagen barely existed. Now we are at a show which is attended by their Excellencies the Ambassadors for France and Japan and

by many distinguished people from other countries. It is quite remarkable that so young a show should now be known all over the world.

In this show we see the old and the new brought together. It is the traditional costumes and the traditional dancing which has made the show famous. At the same time we see exhibits which show the progress which is taking place in the Western Highlands. The

Dhow illustrates the adaptability of the peopled They are preserving the best of their traditional customs but are at the same time adapting themselves to change.

The energy of the Highland people is exhibited not only in the music and dancing and colour. It is illustrated in the development which has taken place. Coffee, tea and pyrethrum are expanding. Cattle husbandry is increasing. This is bringing money to the

native people and giving them opportunities that they did not have in the past.

Overseas investment plays a part in this development. The House of Assembly has said it wants to encourage this. Ov3:seas investors show by the investments they are making that they have confidence

in the people of Papua and New Guinea and in the Australian Government's support for development. The new oil palm industry in New Britain and tea estates in the Highlands are examples of this confidence.

The great Bougainville copper project is another example. The money required to get this vast project into operation will total more than $300M. For this project the overseas investors will be providing

about five times as much money as the people of Papua and New Guinea p aid as taxation to the Administration last year. Thisshows how import t overseas investment can be in providing development which otherwise could not take place at all.

Of course overseas investment is attractive to the investor because it is profitable but the people who profit most are the native people themselves. This is why overseas investment has played a welcome part in the

development we see around us in the Highlands.


The people of Papua and New Guinea themselves are increasing production by bringing new land under cultivation and by improving agricultural methods and by growing new crop. But many people are having to learn to adjust to new ways and new things.

For example the House of Assembly has been worried about people coming into the towns from the villages without jobs. This is the sort of problem which the House of Assembly and the Administration will have to work together to find answers to. In doing so

they have to bear in mind that much of the future prosperity of PNG rests with primary industry. It is better to be a good farmer than to be an inefficient clerk.

Another way in which the people are called upon to help in development is by making land available for development - for towns or airstrips or mining or roads. The people who do this are helping development

in that way just as those who increase production on their land are helping development in another way. Development cannot go on unless the necessary land is

available in the interests of the people as a whole. The people who give up this land are entitled to a fair price. The land then becomes the property of all the people.

People want schools, hospitals and roads and bridges. In the past these have been paid for from Australia. Now that the wealth of the country is being turned to good use the people will be able to earn more money to pay tawces to help to provide the money that

is needed for more of these things. As the country develops and more people earn money the actual needs and demands of development spiral upwards. These accelerating requirements can in practice be financed only out of a growing production and a rising level of activity in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining, secondary

industry and commerce.

That is happening in the Highlands has happened in Australia. One hundred years ago one farmer produced enough for four people .

; now he produces enough for forty-five. This has come about from agricultural research, from irrigation and. through improved transport. In the same way high priority is given to such research facilities as the Baiyer River Livestock Station, the High Altitude Experimental Station at Tambul and the new Tea Experiment Station at Kuk.

The Australian. Government believes the expectations of the native people for a better life will not be met unless the economic resources are developed.. Copper in the ground is no good to anyone. Fertile ground that can grow tea but is not being worked is no



good to anyone. If these resources are developed with- Australian help and if the people are willing to work for their own and their children's prosperity by mining the copper and by growing the tea the country

can pay for more of its own. requirements. In this way it can become more self-reliant and eventually independent in the true sense of the word.

Economic development is something for Papuans and New Guineans themselves. It is to help them and their children in the future. It is not to

help Australia.

However all the policy of economic development is based on the idea of Papua and New Guinea as one country. Tea in the Highlands, oil palm in New Britain and copper in Bougainville are being

supported by the Government because they are in the interests of the country as a whole.

We see each part of the country contributing to the progress and development of the whole country.

Before the last w ' ar the history of Papua and New Guinea was not one of unity. Today's conditions and the necessities of the modern world require that the interests of smaller groups be reconciled with the wishes and views of all the people.

The House of Assembly passed a resolution last November declaring that national unity is essential to the progress of Papua and New Guinea as a modern state with enough resources and population to sustain a

developing economy. This is the Government's view also. We must be guided by the wishes of the people as a'whole.

The Government believes that Australia and the whole of the present Territory must work together in partnership to develop a strong and self-reliant single united country of Papua and New Guinea. This is what Australia wants to see.

This show is the united effort of people from a wide area of the Highlands from Papua and from New Guniea. It shows what a united effort can bring about.

I congratulate all who have been involved in the organisation for this tremendous spectacle.

I have much pleasure in declaring the 1969 Mt Hagen Show open.