26 Jan 2004

Former PNG minister critical of Australian assistance

4:40 pm on 26 January 2004

A Papua New Guinea MP, Peter Yama, says bringing in Australian workers under the proposed 620 million US dollars aid program to PNG is an intrusion and structural invasion of government departments.

Under the new 5-year co-operation program, 36 Australians will train PNG nationals in the police, law and justice areas, as well as finance and public sectors.

Mr Yama, who is a former labour minister, has described the assistance as boomerang aid and adds that the justice system should be left alone as there are already enough qualified people in the country.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that he has also urged the government to cut down on foreign employment and improve the public service capacity.

Last week, Mr Yama had a verbal exchange with the prime minister, Sir Michael Somare over the issue.