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Pacific Island links: Earthquakes, protests in West Papua, ABC shortwave, and more

Photo: Getty Images/Pacific Press
Photo: Getty Images/Pacific Press

  • Paul Ronalds, Executive Director of Save the Children Australia, provides a fascinating and candid account of his organisation’s experience of providing services to asylum seeker children on Nauru despite a belief that them even being there breaches the UN Convention on Rights of the Child.
  • Meanwhile, a refugee settlement on the island was attacked this week.
  • Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea have both been hit by significant earthquakes this month. Meanwhile flood threats continue in Fiji.
  • The use of ABC’s shortwave as an emergency warning system in remote areas has been one of the major criticisms for the decision to shut down the service. I wrote about it on the Interpreter recently, while Graeme Doebell has continued the discussion over at ASPI.
  • I was interviewed by Radio New Zealand to discuss our recent Lowy Institute Analysis looking at the development benefits of expanded labour mobility opportunities between the Pacific and Australia.
  • Sam Koim and Stephen Howes discuss why PNG LNG landowner royalties have taken so long to be delivered. Naturally, it’s very messy. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Julius Chan is calling for changes to the mining act before next year’s election.
  • Speaking of Sir Julius, I reviewed his autobiography for our books of the year series. It’s not perfect, but there are scant few books on PNG politics from the insider’s perspective. 
  • The PNG government is attempting the halve the cost of the 2017 PNG elections, while also curbing the amount of unlicensed guns in the country. The government is also trying to increase the firearms scrutiny over its police force.
  • This comes at the same time as the PNG government is going to the lengths of deploying the military to stop tribal violence near the PNG LNG project.
  • Police in Solomon Islands say they're ready to rearm as soon as the government gives them the green light. They have been training for months to use firearms for the first time since 2003.
  • Hundreds of protestors have been detained in numerous cities in West Papua following protests on the day marking the 55th anniversary of the Indonesian military takeover of the region from the Dutch.

Pacific Research Program

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