Around the World: Julia Gillard’s visit to Papua New Guinea and other international stories


World 02There’s been plenty of international media coverage of last week’s visit to Papua New Guinea by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Worth singling out is the perspective by Rowan Callick in The Australian (partly due to his deep understanding of PNG’s business environment but also because his paper’s paywall makes his articles hard to find).

On the issue of visas for Papua New Guineans to visit Australia, he argues that if PNG’s massive needs provide ‘commensurate’ opportunities for Australia,

‘[matching] the two requires some big changes. Australians need to start viewing PNG as a place to invest, to work, even to visit … Australia could do much more to help them. It is crazy that we make it harder for them to come here than we do for people from remote Europe.’

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Meanwhile on the Lowy Interpreter blog, Jenny Hayward-Jones highlighted the symbolism of the visit of Australia’s first female Prime Minister to a country currently confronting a crisis in violence against women in her post entitled ‘Gillard must stand up for PNG’s women’:

The Prime Minister can demonstrate to Papua New Guineans that women can effectively and confidently occupy the highest offices in the land.

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Of course the National Haus Krai that have taken place so shortly after Julia Gillard’s departure underlined the importance of the issue. Organiser Esther Igo told Radio Australia:

We have got legislation against rape. But the thing that is broken in Papua New Guinea is the enforcement of the legislation that we have got in place. We have got perpetrators that are walking free on the streets.

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But apparently PNG is not alone in failing to lock up its criminals. The Melbourne Age reports on the alleged PNG crime boss who is reportedly living it up in Cairns, on a contentious 457 visa no less.

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Finally, most people have heard of 3D printing, a process that allows actual objects to be designed and created using a computer connected to a printer-like device, but perhaps it’s the recent announcement that a workable gun has been produced by a 3D Printer that will be remembered as the moment when the world sat up and took notice of a technology that is, in the words of the UK Telegraph

‘poised to blur the distinction between digital and physical realms, democratising manufacturing and turning large chunks of the global economy upside-down.’

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