31 Mar 2004

Australian institute says PNG failures due to government structures

11:09 am on 31 March 2004

An Australian think tank says the basic structures of government in Papua New Guinea have failed and the challenge for aid donors is to help PNG come up with solutions.

Hugh White of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says he supports the planned Australian deployment of several hundred police and officials but this will not solve the country's problems.

He says the spectacular collapse of service delivery, such things as roads, law and order, health and education, are symptomatic of the failure of basic government structures.

Mr White says this frustrates central policy making and implementation, and particularly, the control of money.

"My proposition is that unless we can fix a lot of those problems, then we are only looking at the symptoms rather than the causes of the problems with service delivery. So I think fixing service delivery is important but if we don't do something which looks at those basic problems of governance in the central system, we are not going to make a lasting impact."