10 Apr 2003

PNG official wants to question Australian reporter

3:53 pm on 10 April 2003

The chair of Papua New Guinea's Parliamentary Privileges Committee has gone to Australia to speak with the journalist responsible for articles depicting PNG as a country wracked with corruption.

Our correspondent in Port Moresby, Peter Niesi, says Nick Kuman is planning to talk to David Nation from The Australian newspaper.

The paper carried an article on a report called "PNG on the Brink" which claimed that the country was close to economic collapse because of corruption, declining services and increasing crime.

The report was co-authored by the Director of PNG's Institute of National Affairs, Mike Manning.

The Australian also reported the head of PNG's Superannuation Fund Rod Mitchell saying that political corruption was rife and that he wouldn't want to raise any children in the country.

Both men were summoned to PNG's Parliamentary Privileges Committee to explain their comments.

Peter Niesi says Mr Kuman wants to know who else spoke to Mr Nation.

"if Mr Kuman gets to know who said those things to Mr Nation then basically it would mean that certain people will be held before the privileges committee the problem is that he is really threatening the very fabric of journalism ethics and journalism principals and the way journalists get information."

Peter Niessi in Port Moresby.