Commentary | 24 July 2013

Peter O’Neill’s refugee gamble

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill either played a blinder or sowed the seeds for social turmoil when he signed off on the Regional Resettlement Arrangement with Australia last week.  If the arrangement does stop the flow of asylum seekers to Australia, then Mr O’Neill will have secured a chunk of additional aid and more leverage with the Australian government and not have to do much in return.  But it is a risky bet.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill either played a blinder or sowed the seeds for social turmoil when he signed off on the Regional Resettlement Arrangement with Australia last week.  If the arrangement does stop the flow of asylum seekers to Australia, then Mr O’Neill will have secured a chunk of additional aid and more leverage with the Australian government and not have to do much in return.  But it is a risky bet.