Residents give view on asylum pact

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday July 30th, 2013

 AN overwhelming number of Lae residents are against the regional resettlement arrangement agreed to last week by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Australian counterpart, Kevin Rudd.

The people’s comments complement growing similar sentiments expressed by the Australian public and some leaders within the Pacific region, Sir Michael Somare, Gary Juffa and former Rabaul MP and elder statesman, Sir John Kaputin.

Of the 30 people who were interviewed randomly around Lae over the weekend, 26 expressed their opposition to that agreement while only four said the country needed the financial assistance provided by Australia under the deal.

The four who agreed with O’Neill reasoned that unlike the much talked about revenue from the LNG project, mining industry and national government budgets, the financial assistance from Australia will be seen at work.

Six residents described Rudd as a smart bully and likened O’Neill as a submissive father who failed to consult his wife and children.

Many called for a nationwide protest against the O’Neill Government.