PNG must press for a better treatment

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NOW that the Australian government is asking for Papua New Guinean help with its immigration problems with the possibility of reopening a holding centre on Manus, perhaps this is a good time for the government to ask the Australian to reciprocate by treating PNG visitors in a more hospitable manner.
Australian citizens generally have much genuine affection for Papua New Guineans and the Australian government often talks about the ties that go back to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels. 
While citizens of many countries get free or almost free instant tourist visas over the internet, Papua New Guineans wanting to spend their holidays and money in Australia must pay a lot of money for tourist visas, and they must physically bring their passports to the Australian High Commission, something that is difficult and expensive for people living outside Port Moresby.
Similarly, young people from many countries, including those the Angels helped protect Australia from, can get one-year working holiday visas in Australia.
This opportunity is denied to the grandchildren of the Angels.
The Australian government should  allow Papua New Guineans to obtain at, no cost, tourist electronic visas over the internet and permit young Papua New Gui­neans to apply for working holiday visas.


Craig Volker
Gifu, Japan