31 Jan 2006

Manam Island displaced aid co-ordinator in PNG says car donors did not think it through

3:17 pm on 31 January 2006

A co-ordinator of aid for the displaced Manam Island people housed in the Papua New Guinea province of Madang says a couple wanting to donate a car to the cause are undoubtedly generous, but have not done their homework.

PNG Customs are demanding the Australian couple pay about 8,000 US dollars tax on a vehicle donated to ferry workers around centres housing Manam Islanders displaced by volcano eruptions.

The couple says it is incongruous, if not unethical, to charge duty on donated goods.

But the Catholic nun Sister Mary Claude of Caritas, in whose name the vehicle was donated, says they did not think it through.

"I think to be really really fair to everyone, I think that that couple, they have a big heart to do that. But they should have investigated all these possibilities before they purchased the car and before they sent the car in our name and I think they didn't do that."

Sister Mary Claude of Caritas.