Australian aid to PNG: a new paradigm?

Parliament house flag post

Australian aid to PNG: a new paradigm?

Posted 23/05/2014 by Ravi Tomar

While most commentary on Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget for 2014–15 has focussed on the overall outlay, what has largely been overlooked have been the allocations for the two largest recipients of Australian aid—Indonesia and PNG.

While aid to Indonesia increased nominally by $3.7 million to $605.3 million, aid to PNG is set to increase by $57.7 million to $577.1 million. This amounts to about 12 per cent and 11.5 per cent of the total ODA budget respectively. In other words, aid spending in the two countries will account for about 23.5 per cent of overall aid expenditure.

In the case of PNG, its ODA allocation will amount to 50 per cent of the total outlay for the Pacific of $1,152.7 million.

On 19 May 2014, in a wide ranging but largely unreported speech at the 30th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo held in Cairns, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop outlined her concerns as well as plans for the future directions of Australia’s development assistance to PNG.

Lamenting the fact that ‘despite a significant investment in aid into PNG over many decades, in some vital areas there has been no discernable progress’, the Foreign Minister announced that a new aid policy and performance benchmarks would be released in the near future:

… (a) new paradigm in aid funding based on economic development as the key driver of poverty reduction––of leveraging the private sector, of aid for trade initiatives, with an emphasis on innovation as a means of lifting living standards, and the introduction of performance benchmarks against which outcomes will be judged, and mutual accountability.

In the context of the aid program for PNG, Ms Bishop stated:

I am pleased to confirm that productivity-enhancing infrastructure is an agreed priority for the aid program in the years ahead. We will work towards allocating up to 50 per cent of the aid budget to infrastructure projects. There is also the infrastructure funding flowing from the previous Labor Government's deal with the PNG Government on Manus which we also support.

That the aid program will be re-oriented towards infrastructure projects is not surprising. They are a direct result of the Regional Resettlement Arrangement (RSA) agreement signed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in July 2013.

The RSA agreement effectively reprioritised and brought forward the design and scoping work for the Ramu–Madang highway, the lower court complex at Port Moresby and the redevelopment of the major hospital at Lae. Australia also agreed to fund on a 50:50 basis, the reform of the PNG university sector.

PNG’s Foreign Minister commented at the time that delivery had so far not been ‘clearly reflective of the PNG timeframe or of our priorities of health, education and infrastructure.’ Prime Minister O’Neill elaborated further and was reported saying:

For the first time we are realigning our aid program in PNG with the Australians, where we, the PNG government, will now set all the priorities under which Australian aid program will now be directed.

While details of the current infrastructure projects being financed by Australian aid are not yet available, it would be reasonable to assume that progress is being made in the implementation of the projects already agreed under the RSA.

Consequently, the increase in aid to PNG and the Foreign Minister’s commitment to work towards allocating 50 per cent of the aid budget to infrastructure projects is a continuation of the existing program. The capital-intensive nature of infrastructure projects would also, to an extent, explain the substantial increase in aid.

As Prime Minister O’Neill told the Forum meeting in Cairns, reflecting his comments made in July 2013:

One of the most important changes impacting our bilateral relationship has also been the abolition of the aid program, AusAID, by the Abbott government. I told Prime Minister Abbott and his Foreign Minister Julie Bishop when they visited Papua New Guinea recently that we welcomed this step with a lot of enthusiasm. One of the first consequences in that is that Australia’s generous development assistance program will now be closely aligned with our government and budget development priorities.


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment Sport illicit drugs people trafficking taxation Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force higher education welfare policy United Nations Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget health financing gambling school education forced labour aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA emissions trading Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations people smuggling dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme Australian Crime Commission slavery Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Afghanistan Fair Work Act child protection debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure poker machines ALP New Zealand Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth paid parental leave Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers Special Rapporteur leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy violence against women domestic violence mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing by-election European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas family assistance planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing money laundering Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship human rights citizenship Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions Norway hospitals

Show all
Show less
Back to top