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Australia needs to watch developments on Bougainville

By Jeffrey Wall - posted Friday, 7 October 2022


The Prime Minister has been hosting his Solomon's counterpart in Canberra, according him status the justification for which frankly escapes me.

The idea that Manasseh Sogavare will abandon his close links with China just to ensure around $200 million a year is maintained is hard to believe.

But I guess even dialogue helps what is a very dangerous situation - a China outpost on our northern border.

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I hope Anthony Albanese takes the opportunity to ask Sogavare his views on the future status of Bougainville.

Australia simply must be increasingly vigilant on this issue. We must monitor developments very closely. We can be assured China is!

The people of Bougainville voted very decisively a couple of years ago to head down the path to independence from PNG by 2025-2026.

Both the Marape Government, and its predecessor led by Peter O'Neill, have firmly rejected approving independence, full stop.

At a seminar in Canberra last week the PNG Government view was outlined by the Chief Secretary....the nation's top public servant. The Autonomous Government of Bougainville view was put by his counterpart.

What was overwhelmingly clear was simply this: the chasm between the national government position and that of the ABG was as wide as ever!!

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There can really only be one outcome.

Sadly yet another rebellion on Bougainville is almost impossible to avoid.

There is no point Australia or PNG believing that somehow there will be a road to Damascus conversion.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Wall CSM CBE is a Brisbane Political Consultant and has served as Advisor to the PNG Foreign Minister, Sir Rabbie Namaliu Prime Minister 1988-1992 and Speaker 1994-1997.

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