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Paga Hill Residents 'Abandoned', says Jubilee, as 'The Opposition' Premieres in Sydney

Release Date: 12-Jun-2017

New investigations by Jubilee and our partners into the Paga Hill illegal land grab and eviction have further questioned the company's treatment of evicted residents.

As reported in the Fairfax Press today, preliminary investigations by Jubilee Australia and Aid/Watch have revealed many Paga Hill evictees living in desperate conditions; others are sleeping rough on the street of Port Moresby.

"The majority of people were simply abandoned and a significant proportion of those, perhaps a quarter, are living under bridges, under buildings," Jubilee's Bryn O'Brien was quoted as saying. 

The United Nation's Resident Coordinator in Papua New Guinea, Roy Trivedy, withdrew his support for the Paga Hill resettlement in a comment in the article. "I've asked the company to stop using my name to endorse something I haven't seen," he said.

The Paga Hill Development Corporation, which is responsible for the evictions, has long relied on cautious statements of support by Mr Trivedy to refuse criticism of the project.

The documentary, directed by Hollie Fifer and produced by Media Stockade, premiered in Sydney this weekend to two sold-out screenings at the Sydney Film Festival. The Paga Hill community leader, Joe Moses, was present and received a standing ovation after both screenings.

At the Saturday screening, the audience was aghast that the Australian Government was lending $100 million to the PNG Government to support the development of the site as venue for the 2018 APEC conference.

'This just goes to show how out of touch our government is,' said Jubilee Australia Director Luke Fletcher. 'DFAT might be able to pretend that they have no responsibility for what has happened. But the Australian public understand that it is morally reprehensible to financially support the development of a site that has been the scene of outrageous human rights violations. The Government must immediate pull its funding until such time that the Page Hill people see justice.'

Senator Scott Ludlam's cross examination of DFAT about Paga Hill and APEC has been posted on our Facebook page