22 Aug 2003

PNG planning minister objects to Australian criticism

10:23 am on 22 August 2003

The National Planning minister in Papua New Guinea, Sinai Brown, says PNG is being treated unfairly by Australia.

Mr Brown's comments come in a deepening row over aid from Australia to PNG.

Last month, Australia announced it intended to review its aid to PNG amid governance concerns.

PNG's prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, said if Australia wanted to withdraw aid it should just go ahead and do it.

Mr Brown also says it is unfair to say PNG has governance issues and he says the morale of the nation can be affected by such comments.

"Every time we receive aid they've got this colouring that they put on us, we're corrupt, we're a failed state and all this kind of thing. Surely that cannot be said for everything we do here otherwise we'll be gone. We've not been given credit for all the achievements that we've done, we've been smeared at just to the extent that Papua New Guinea are feeling that they have nothing."