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Australian Parliamentary Delegation—2017 Parliamentary Delegation to Papua New Guinea, 5 to 10 November 2017—Report

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2017 Parliamentary Delegation to Papua New Guinea

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Members ............................................................................................................................................. v

The Report

1 Introduction .............................................................................................................. 1

2 Program of Activities ............................................................................................. 3

Appendix A. Delegation Program ................................................................................. 15



Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald, Senator for Queensland

Delegation Leader

Mr Ken O’Dowd MP, Member for Flynn

Ms Cathy O’Toole MP, Member for Herbert

Senator Kimberley Kitching, Senator for Victoria

Ms Julia Agostino, Delegation Secretary


1. Introduction

1.1 This report gives an account of the Australian Parliamentary Delegation to Papua New Guinea from 5 to 10 November 2017.

1.2 Chapter 2 outlines the meetings and site visits that took place in Port Moresby and in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

1.3 Appendix A contains the delegation program.

Aims and objectives

1.4 The delegation’s aims and objectives were to:

 meet with the High Commissioner and his staff to discuss and learn more about Australia’s bilateral relationship with Papua New Guinea and to discuss any issues of interest or concern to Australia;  continue to strengthen parliamentary relationships with Papua New

Guinea;  meet with organisations receiving financial aid from Australia and to discuss the progress of their programs;  meet with local business and community leaders to learn more about the

challenges and successes they experience; and  conduct site visits to various health facilities.


1.5 Prior to departure, the delegation received a helpful and informative briefing from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and from members of the Crawford Business School at the Australian National University.


1.6 During the visit, the delegation was accompanied by officers located with the Australian High Commission in Papua New Guinea, led by HE Mr Bruce Davis, High Commissioner.

1.7 Mr Davis and his staff are to be commended for providing comprehensive briefings and excellent logistical assistance throughout the visit. The delegation greatly appreciates the effort made to accommodate its needs and to ensure a successful visit.

1.8 The delegation particularly wishes to thank Mr John Francis, Second Secretary and Visit Liaison Officer, who worked tirelessly on the visit program, and accompanied the delegation in both Port Moresby and the Highlands.

1.9 Finally, the delegation wishes to thank all of the individuals and organisations who made time to meet with the delegation, and expresses appreciation for the warm welcomes and hospitality received.


2. Program of Activities

Port Moresby and the Highlands

Sunday, 5 November 2017

2.1 The delegation travelled to Port Moresby on Sunday 5 November 2017.

2.2 In the afternoon, the delegation was hosted by the High Commissioner, HE Mr Bruce Davis, first at a Rugby League World Cup match1, and then at the High Commissioner’s residence for an informal dinner.

2.3 Staff from the High Commission and other Australian agencies with a presence in Port Moresby attended the dinner, including from the Australian Federal Police, Austrade, the Department of Border Protection, and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

2.4 Over dinner, staff had the opportunity to discuss with the delegation aspects of Australia’s bilateral relationship with Papua New Guinea (PNG) as related to their agency. The delegation appreciated the openness with which staff shared information and responded to questions.

Monday, 6 November 2017

2.5 The delegation toured the PNG Parliament and called on the Speaker of the House, the Hon Job Pomat, Member for Manus.

2.6 Conversation between the Speaker and delegation focussed on a number of parliament-specific issues, including the life of a politician and the

1 PNG v Ireland (PNG won!)


differences between the role of Speaker in each nation’s parliament. Other issues highlighted included the work of parliamentary committees and differences in voting.

2.7 Discussion also touched on the ownership and sale of PNG’s natural resources. Interestingly, the Speaker noted that it is more expensive to buy a bottle of water than a bottle of Coca-Cola ™ in PNG.

2.8 The Speaker mentioned the current situation on Manus Island. He said that it used to be the most peaceful province in PNG and suggested that, rather than discussion about rights, there should be discussion of responsibilities.

Figure 2.1 Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald and the Hon Job Pomat, Speaker of the House, Papua New Guinea


2.9 The delegation then travelled to the National Museum of Papua New Guinea. The museum contains thousands of exquisite national artefacts. During a comprehensive tour, museum representatives took time to explain many of these artefacts to the delegation.

2.10 The museum recently underwent renovations to update its exhibition space. The result is a large and modern part of the museum which houses key pieces. Museum representatives outlined further plans to remodel and modernise the rest of the museum.

Figure 2.2 National Museum of Papua New Guinea

Delegation with Nora Brach, Alois Kuaso, Henry Arifae and Andrew Abel

2.11 A Women in Leadership lunch was held at the Airways Hotel and the delegation was invited to attend. A number of outstanding local female leaders were present and shared their experiences with members of the delegation in a relaxed and conversational setting.

2.12 After lunch, the delegation visited the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). The precinct is a partnership project, to be delivered by the School of Business and Public Policy and the PNG Institute of Public Administration.

2.13 Implementing partners providing technical and specialist input include the Australian National University’s Crawford School, the Canberra Institute of


Technology, the University of Queensland and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

2.14 The delegation met representatives from the precinct’s core partner institutions, including the UPNG, the Department of Personnel Management and the Australian National University. The roundtable discussion was hosted by Mr Vincent Malaibe, Acting Vice Chancellor.

2.15 The PNG Institute of Public Administration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia to deliver additional support through the precinct. The goal is to become a leading institution of public service education in the region which will focus on developing leadership and technical skills in public servants.

2.16 Presentations were made by staff and students, demonstrating the success of the program and commitment to the precinct. The delegation heard about the flagship investment in programs focussing on increasing skills in public sector leadership and good governance.

2.17 In the evening, the High Commissioner hosted an informal dinner with several private sector representatives from the banking and legal sectors.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017: The Highlands

2.18 From Tuesday 7 November to Thursday 9 November, the delegation attended meetings and undertook site visits in the PNG Highlands.

2.19 The delegation arrived in Mt Hagen in the morning and met with Western Highland Provincial Administration representatives, including Mr Mark Kumjua, who provided an outline of the area and some of the challenges faced by the communities.

2.20 The Administration is a major aid recipient and is involved in a governance program to build capacity in the districts.

2.21 A number of specific challenges were raised, including that there are insufficient funds for infrastructure and that the quality of roads is often poor. Officials also said that exports from the region are valuable but the provinces do not see the profit.

2.22 Finally, it was noted that access to education needs improvement, and this goes beyond building schools and hiring teachers because many students drop out in grades eight and nine.

2.23 The delegation then travelled to the Westpac Innovation Hub to meet with representatives who are involved in local banking programs. The delegation


learned that banking is a relatively new practice and many people do not have bank accounts.

2.24 The hub provides the bank with an opportunity to try different things in a community and to gather information so that it can develop new products that will suit - and benefit - the community.

2.25 Bank representatives indicated that the big challenge is to get people to use the services they provide. The bank’s target is for 50 percent of customers to be females. This also reflects the number of females in the population.

2.26 A major challenge is to try to get people to save their money in a bank, rather than to hide it at home when they want to save for school fees and other expenses. This represents a huge cultural shift for many in the area.

2.27 The delegation was advised that usually field agents go into the communities to provide information and advice to people wishing to make use of banking services, many for the first time. On this occasion, agents set up information stands outside the bank and offered people an opportunity to sign up for banking services.

2.28 The delegation welcomed the chance to talk with those people who had attended the bank for the purpose of setting up an account and/or gathering information.

2.29 Following this visit, the delegation met informally with members of the Mt Hagen Chamber of Commerce (CC) and church representatives. The delegation learned more about the region and some of the challenges people face, including with respect to roads, law enforcement and education.

2.30 Consistent with what the delegation had heard previously, it was told that the logistical challenges of transport, particularly in relation to exporting fresh food products, meant that agriculture was not as profitable as it could be. Air freight is too expensive to be sustainable to transport fresh produce and the roads require improvement. The poor condition of the roads was a common theme throughout the visit to the Highlands.

2.31 CC members also spoke about skills shortages in the region and how the cost of training put people off as it leads to significant debt.

2.32 At Kosem Coffee, a family-owned business the delegation received a briefing about the coffee production process from growing to roasting to export, and initiatives underway to improve the industry to make it more profitable for growers.


2.33 The coffee industry has changed over time, effectively downsizing due to a reduction in profits. This is in spite of a quality product.

2.34 Kosem Coffee works in partnership with 1600 coffee farmers; 70 per cent of employees are women. About 20 tonnes of green beans are contained in one container of coffee; Kosem exported six containers in 2017. A recent national cupping competition resulted in an increase of buyers for Kosem coffee.

2.35 The Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) is responsible for industry regulation, research and extension and it aims to provide leadership and support services to the PNG coffee industry. Kosem noted that the CIC is responsible for licenses to export coffee.

2.36 Kosem Coffee is aiming for the following outcomes:

 increase production;  improve quality;  better markets/better price;  capacity building; and  sustainability and evolving of value chain.

2.37 The delegation was given a tour of the facility where coffee beans are dried and packaged. A demonstration was provided of the process whereby the flesh is removed from the fresh coffee berries.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

2.38 The delegation visited the District Development Administration Office (DDA Office) in Mul-Baiyer on Wednesday, 8 November 2017, hosted by Mr Mark Kumjua, Chief Executive Officer, and DDA staff.

2.39 Mr Kumjua and staff provided an excellent presentation about their work, challenges and successes. A key challenge is that of budget, with each district receiving a total of 10 million kina from which all expenses are paid.

2.40 Mr Kumjia also spoke about the huge changes in the last five years, for example with challenging tribal relationships and school closures. He suggested that there has been a change in attitude to education with classrooms full as people have come to understand the importance of education for the future.

2.41 The church was acknowledged as having an important role in partnership programs and is very good at providing services. Notably, the church is also considered to be good at governance. This is consistent with information


provided to the delegation about the role of the church in communities as a trusted service provider and community authority.

2.42 During the meeting, a range of other issues were touched on, including the cost of education, the value of land and attempts to attract investors to develop the local economy.

2.43 After lunch and a tour of the building, the delegation was due to attend a health facility. It soon became apparent that hundreds of local people had learned about the delegation and gathered at the meeting ground next door.

2.44 The delegation was happy to engage in an impromptu meet and greet, with Senator Macdonald addressing the crowd on behalf of the delegation. Mr O’Dowd also spoke - in Pidgin English!

Figure 2.3 Locals gather at Mul-Baiyer

Mr O’Dowd delights the crowd by addressing them in Pidgin English

2.45 The final visit in the Highlands was to the Sanap Community Health Post which was in the last stages of a fitout and due to be opened within weeks of the delegation’s visit.


2.46 The delegation received a warm welcome from local staff and community members, and was given a full tour of the facility by the architect and associates from organisations who had financially contributed to the project.

2.47 The Sanap Community Health Post is the third such facility in the Western Highlands. The project was funded in partnership with the Australian Government, the World Health Organisation, the PNG Health Department and a number of other organisations.

2.48 A focus of the Community Health Post is to provide facilities and medical assistance to women during child birth and to reduce the high maternal mortality rate in the region.

2.49 The delegation learned about the rooms which are designed to encourage family members to stay and assist with the care of the new mother and baby.

2.50 The Community Health Post also has housing for several staff, an efficient incinerator which is easy to use and will reduce contamination by medical waste, and the facility is solar powered.

2.51 In speaking with local people who attended the visit, the delegation learned that the community welcomed the Community Health Post and expressed a great deal of gratitude to the Australian Government for its support of this life changing facility.

2.52 The delegation was grateful for the opportunity to visit this facility, and commends all those involved in bringing such an important project to fruition. The Sanap Community Health Post will no doubt provide invaluable health benefits to the local population well into the future.

Thursday, 9 November 2017: Port Moresby

2.53 On Thursday, 9 November 2017, the delegation returned to Port Moresby and attended a brief meeting at the High Commission with Colonel Dave Buller, Head of Australian Defence Staff, who provided an outline of the work ADF staff undertake in PNG.

2.54 The delegation then travelled to the PNG Air Services Limited Facility. The Executive Team met with the delegation and gave a presentation about its training programs and recent developments at the facility.

2.55 PNG Air Services Limited is an independent government entity that operates as a company. Its primary roles are to provide air traffic services, aeronautical navigation services and aeronautical communications services and all related services in PNG and airspace for which it is responsible.


Figure 2.4 Air Services Limited Facility

A highlight was a site visit to the simulation facility that assists in the training of air traffic controllers.

2.56 The delegation learned that in contrast to employment in many sectors-where the proportion of women is significantly lower-the split of male to female air traffic controllers is roughly 50 per cent. This is due to the vital and specialist nature of the job which means selection of candidates must be based on merit.

2.57 The delegation visited two health facilities in Port Moresby. It first travelled to the St Joseph Freindemetz Centre in Boroko. This HIV clinic is run by Catholic Church Health Services Incorporated.

2.58 The delegation met with Sister Jadwiga Faliszek, National Secretary of Catholic Church Health Services (CCHS) and staff from the clinic who, during a round table discussion, provided information about the work the clinic undertakes. Staff from Marie Stopes also attended the discussion.

2.59 The delegation was advised that CCHS recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Department of Health to provide level three and four primary health services across PNG.


2.60 CCHS coordinates a nationwide response to HIV which is largely supported by donor partners such as the Australian Aid Program and the Global Fund. Over 8,000 people living with HIV receive care and treatment in 25 clinics operated by CCHS.

2.61 The CCHS expressed its gratitude for the continuous support provided by the Australian Government and its people through various aid efforts. The delegation was encouraged and enlightened by the work being done by the clinic to educate and care for people in its community.

2.62 The delegation then travelled to the Port Moresby General Hospital to speak with CEO, Dr Umesh Gupta, and his staff about the Child Tuberculosis Project.

2.63 On arriving at the hospital, Senator Macdonald noted that he had visited the hospital some years previously and that vast improvements to the facilities have been made since that time, no doubt making life more comfortable for patients and the work of staff easier.

2.64 The delegation learned that a team of dedicated medical professionals has been working to educate families and care for children with tuberculosis (TB). They have taken an innovative and inclusive approach which encourages families to pursue and persist with treatment for their children who are suffering from TB and from malnutrition.

2.65 The project is part of a partnership approach focussed on effective preparation of drugs for children with TB. The medical team explained that TB medication can be given orally. Previously, methods included grinding up tablets which made it difficult to correctly measure dosages. It also tasted unpleasant which meant children were reluctant to take their medicine.

2.66 This meant treatment of children with TB could be ineffective. To address this problem, child friendly medicine was developed and can be given at home.

2.67 Another successful initiative has been to incentivise families to bring children to the hospital for testing and ongoing treatment. For example, through the provision of bus fares and children’s books.


Figure 2.5 Children’s tuberculosis ward, Port Moresby General Hospital

Senator Macdonald with patient and family

2.68 Following the meeting with the medical team, the delegation visited the children’s ward for TB and malnutrition. This was a moving experience as delegation members were able to observe firsthand the health toll taken on children and their families, and also the care and support received through the hospital.

2.69 The delegation commends the medical team for its important work in the treatment and care of children and the education of their families.

2.70 In the evening, the High Commissioner hosted a reception at his residence with political and civil society leaders, including a number of PNG Members of Parliament. This provided an informal opportunity for delegation members to meet and chat with their PNG parliamentary counterparts.

Friday, 10 November 2017

2.71 On Friday, 10 November 2017, Senator Kitching and Mr O’Dowd informally visited the Bomana War Cemetery, and Senator Macdonald had informal


discussions with a Port Moresby based company of Australian origin, Curtain Bros.

2.72 The delegation left Port Moresby and returned to Australia on the afternoon of Friday, 10 November 2017.

2.73 The delegation takes this opportunity to again thank the High Commissioner, his staff and all organisations it met with for their time and hospitality during what was an informative and successful visit to Papua New Guinea.


A. Delegation Program

Sunday 5 November 2017

12.00 Arrive Jacksons International Airport, Port Moresby

Check in at Airways Hotel

15.00-15.30 Travel to National Football Stadium

16.00-18.30 Attend Rugby League World Cup match, PNG v Ireland

Hosted by High Commissioner Davis in corporate box with PNG Parliamentarians and other invited guests

18.30-19.00 Travel to High Commissioner’s residence

19.00 Informal dinner and overview of bilateral relationship with PNG

High Commissioner Davis, Deputy High Commissioner Moules, Minister Counsellors and Heads of Agencies

At conclusion, return to Airways Hotel

Monday 6 November 2017

09.00 - 0910 Informal meeting at Airways Hotel, Brad Jackson CEO, Indigenous to Indigenous with Senator Macdonald

09.15 - 09.30 Travel to Parliament House

09.30-11.00 Call on Speaker of the House

Tour of Parliament House with Sergeant-at-Arms from 09.30 - 10.00 followed by call on Speaker, the Hon. Job Pomat, Member for Manus.

11.10-11.15 Travel to the National Museum


11.15-12.00 Tour of the National Museum with Mr Henry Arifeae, Cultural Coordinator, National Museum

12.00-12.30 Travel to Airways Hotel

12.30-14.00 Women in leadership lunch, hosted by Deputy High Commissioner

14.15-14.30 Travel to Precinct

14.30-16.30 Visit to the Precinct: the University of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration and the School of Business and Public Policy

16.30-16.45 Travel to Airways Hotel

18.00-18.30 Travel to High Commissioner’s residence for dinner with PNG private sector leaders

At conclusion, return to Airways Hotel

Tuesday 7 November 2017

07.30-07.40 Travel from Airways Hotel to Domestic Airport

08.30-09.30 Travel from Port Moresby to Mt Hagen

The delegation was accompanied in the highlands by Mr Rod Hilton, Minister Counsellor, Mr John Francis, VLO and Ms Julienne Leka-Maliaki, Senior Program Manager.

09.30-10.15 Travel to Western Highlands Provincial Government Offices

10.15-11.00 Meet Provincial Government representatives

11.00-11.15 Travel to Westpac Innovation Hub

11.15-12.00 Visit the Westpac Innovation Hub, Mt Hagen Branch

12.00-12.15 Travel to the Highlander Hotel, Mt Hagen

12.15-13.30 Lunch with Mt Hagen Chamber of Commerce and Church representatives

13.30-15.00 Travel to Banz Jiwaka

15.00-16.00 Visit Kosem Coffee, Banz, hosted by Mr Mark Munnul, Operations and Export Manager

16.00-17.30 Travel to Rondon Ridge

18.30 Informal dinner and screening of “First Contact”


Wednesday 8 November 2017 - Mul-Baiyer

08.30 Ms O’Toole check out

08.30-10.00 Travel from Rondon Ridge to Mul-Baiyer

10.00-14.00 Visit to District Development Administration Office, Mul-Baiyer

14.00-14.15 Travel to Sanap Community Health Post

14.00-15.30 Ms O’Toole return to Mt Hagen for 16.30 flight

Accompanied to Port Moresby by Julienne Leka-Maliaki, Senior Program Manager

14.15-14.45 Visit Sanap Community Health Post

14.45-15.45 Travel to Mt Hagen

15.45-16.30 Travel to Rondon Ridge

17.30 Ms O’Toole arrive in Port Moresby.

Thursday 9 November 2017

07.00-08.00 Senator Macdonald, Senator Kitching, Mr O’Dowd and Ms Agostino check out.

08.00-09.00 Travel from Rondon Ridge to Mount Hagen Airport

10.00-11.00 Travel from Mount Hagen to Port Moresby

11.00-11.15 Travel to Airways Hotel

11.00-11.15 Ms O’Toole travel to International Terminal for departure from Port Moresby at 13.55.

11.15-12.45 Meeting at Australian High Commission with Colonel Dave Buller, Head of Australian Defence Staff

12.45-13.00 Travel to Air Services Limited, Jacksons Airport

13.00-14.15 Visit and tour of Air Services Limited, Jacksons Airport, including tour of air safety and air traffic control facilities and flight simulator

14.15-14.30 Travel to Boroko

14.30-15.30 Visit Catholic Health Service HIV Clinic, Boroko

15.30-16.00 Travel to Port Moresby General Hospital

16.00-16.30 Port Moresby General Hospital - Child Tuberculosis project visit

16.30-17.00 Travel to Airways Hotel


18.00-18.30 Travel to High Commissioner’s residence

18.30 Reception with political and civil society leaders at High Commissioner’s residence.

At conclusion, return to Airways Hotel

Friday 10 November 2017

07.30 Mr O’Dowd and Ms Agostino check out

08.00 - 08.30 Senator Macdonald informal meeting with Curtain Bros at

Airways Hotel

Mr O’Dowd, Senator Kitching and Ms Agostino travel to Bomana

08.30 - 09.15 Visit Bomana War Cemetery

09.15 - 09.45 Travel from Bomana to Airways Hotel

10.00- 11.00 Tour of APEC sites

11.00-11.20 Travel to Port Moresby Airport

Mr O’Dowd and Ms Agostino check in for departure at 12.40

11.25-11.30 Travel to Airways Hotel

11.30-12.15 A-based business, Airways Hotel

12.00 Senator Macdonald and Senator Kitching check out

12.15-12.30 Travel to Airport.

Check in Senator Macdonald and Senator Kitching for departure at 14.00