31 Dec 2002

PNGs prime minister withdraws Queen's Birthday honours to three Australians

4:31 pm on 31 December 2002

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare says that he has withdrawn Queen's Birthday honours to three Australians who have assisted the Government in its inquiry into the country's superannuation scheme.

Sir Michael says the highest honours were exclusively for Papua New Guineans and that the government can award non-citizens who have made substantial contributions to the country.

Rod Mitchell, who came to PNG in 1999 was the managing director of the National Provident Fund for two years during which the fund went from over 39.5 million US dollars in the red to over 97.8 million in the black.

John Reeve who came to PNG in 1983 was the lawyer assisting in the inquiry into the National Provident fund,

Mr Reeve was also involved in the Sandline inquiry in 1997.

The third is John Gordon who came to PNG in 1983.

Mr Gordon established a meat cannery in Madang for the Australian based company James Barnes PTY Ltd and was also a chairman of the NPF.