Asia-Pacific

Jul 22, 2013

‘No way’: PNG reaction to the boat people plan

People in PNG have reacted with shock then anger to the deal with Australia over boat people. Freelance journalist Catherine Wilson, who has lived and worked in PNG, surveys local reactions to the deal.

Kevin Rudd PNG

Australia’s decision to permanently resettle refugees in Papua New Guinea has been met with shock by many locals, quickly followed by anger and a sense of betrayal.

Under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan the developing Pacific island state will resettle an unlimited number of Australia’s asylum seekers who arrive by boat, if they are found to be refugees. In return, PNG will receive extra aid from Australia for hospitals and universities.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

46 comments

Leave a comment

46 thoughts on “‘No way’: PNG reaction to the boat people plan

  1. Edward James

    plan pact ? I understand it is in fact a very expensive and wobbly “agreement”. Which it appears has way to many holes in it. Just like those full page ads Rudd is running nationally paid for by tax payers not Labor.
    Come by boat and Australia will never be home. Already we know that to be worthless spin. Because it is not happening. Rudd, Gillard, Labor generally can’t tell the truth even when trying to show Australian voters, Labor nationally is nothing like Labor NSW! Edward James

  2. Venise Alstergren

    I have no quibble about taking as many refugees-as the need arises- as possible FROM South East Asia which is in our part of the world; Asia/Pacific to be precise.

    On the other hand I deplore the fact the Oz government has allowed so many Middle Eastern people to settle here, Iran, Jordan, North Africa and Syria, Lebanon being but five examples. No matter how fine the individuals may be they bring Islam with them. They want to add to Australian law by allowing Sharia law for domestic issues, plus allowing Mullahs of limited education, (but vastly hate-filled) to create situations inimical to Oz;to disseminate anti-Australian Fatwas.

    No matter what the bleeding hearts trot out, the above mentioned people are not good immigrants if they still adhere to fundamentalist Koranic beliefs.

  3. Jon Cassar

    Allow me to take a’schadenfreude’ selfie. I think it’s hilarious, and very fitting for a bunch of frauds being sent to some country they’ve probably never heard of. Having lived in PNG I can assure them that life will be tougher than anything they may have experienced in the middle-class ‘burbs of Teheran. PNG men are very violent, especially towards women. Being foreign AND Muslim are no guarantees of safety. I’m betting they won’t refuse an offer of a return ticket home very quickly.

  4. Sharkie

    Thanks Jon and Venise. We all know now who the rac!st ar*eholes section of the populations will be voting for. Take note Rudd, you can never please this type of person. Abbott and Morrison will always aim lower.

  5. Sharkie

    Wow Jon Cassar. So you’re actually happy and you think it’s “hilarious” that women will be placed in a situation where they will be subjected to “PNG men (who) are very violent, especially towards women.”
    There are plenty of words out there to describe you. Most of them are four letters long.

  6. FatherJon

    Where’s my ‘racism’? Insult ‘du jour’ or a new meaning for the word?

  7. Milanion20

    It will be easy to avoid “PNG men”. Simple. Don’t get on a boat.

  8. Sharkie

    “It will be easy to avoid “PNG men”. Simple. Don’t get on a boat.”
    So that means asylum seekers stay in Indonesia and Malaysia, where they have no rights, can be imprisoned at anytime, and can be deported back to lovely places like Afghanistan and Iran.
    Not exactly a moral position Milanion.
    Why can’t the anti-asylum seeker mob just admit they simply don’t give a sh*t about people fleeing oppressive regimes?

  9. Suzanne Blake

    Rudds so called ‘election fixes’ will be found out before Election day, but he will save them seats.

  10. davoid

    There is one thing to bear in mind. Of the people that try to make it to Australia, via a number of other countries they’ve decided they’d prefer not to ask for asylum, 2-4% die by drowning if trying to land by boat. Men, women, children. I assume it’s mostly drowning; I don’t know which species of man-eating sharks patrol those waters.

    They will not want to settle in PNG. The boats will stop coming. The people will stop drowning. There’s credible historical evidence for expecting this.

    If you think that 2-4% is a drowning tax worth paying, or if you have another realistic solution, then keep criticizing. Otherwise, despite recognizing the obvious electioneering boost Rudd will enjoy from an electorate exquisitley tuned to dog whistling by Howard, do please try to see both sides.

    No solution is possible otherwise.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...