A Chinese company’s reported proposal for a $39 billion development in Papua New Guinea is yet more evidence of the vacuum the Morrison Government has left for others to fill in our region.
“Scott Morrison should explain what he knows about the ‘New Daru City’ proposal and guarantee it does not threaten Australia’s security interests,” the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong, said.
Daru is located a few kilometres from Australia’s maritime border and less than 200km from the Australian mainland.
Reports of the proposal come after the Morrison Government was seemingly caught off guard by plans to build a $200m “comprehensive multi-functional fishery industrial park” in the same area.
“Australia should be the partner of choice in our region, working with allied and aligned nations to build the sort of region we want - one that is stable, prosperous and respects sovereignty,” Senator Wong said.
"It’s four years since the Coalition Government announced its so-called Pacific Step Up but it has failed to deliver anything but cuts and mismanagement,” Shadow Minister for International Development Pat Conroy said.
This includes cutting two positions from Australia’s High Commission in Papua New Guinea at a time when we should be signalling our commitment to regional relationships and investing in diplomatic resources.