31 May 2005

Tough Australian report condemning PNG elite as corrupt wins qualified local support

9:11 pm on 31 May 2005

There is some support in Papua New Guinea for a hard hitting report from an Australian think tank which says a tiny corrupt elite is enriching itself at the expense of the vast majority of the country.

The Centre for Independent Studies says this elite of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats has undermined a huge Australian aid programme which is designed to restore law and order and allow the economy to develop.

Businessman Peter Aitsi, who is also involved with Transparency International, says he agrees with the claim - but says there are also many who might be classified as members of the elite who are committed to working for change.

"These people are very committed to the task and I would say that these people are also engaged in a process of trying to bring back the ECP and the systems of good governance that can restore PNG's public service and then hopefully lead onto the development of the economy."