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Inaction by the Australian Goverment leaves PNG refugee children going hungry

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release

Inaction by the Australian government is leaving refugee families destitute. Despite promises from the PNG Immigration minister that the problem would be fixed, refugees still have no food vouchers, income, or access to medical help.

Families have run out of food for their children; refugees have been left without electricity because they do not have the money to keep it connected. Electricity in Port Moresby costs up to $150 a week. Even drinking water has to be bought.

Some money has been raised by friends and supporters in Australia, for the last week, but it is nowhere near enough to buy sufficient food and keep the power on for the 62 refugees and their families still in limbo in PNG. Despite efforts to raise more money, there is no money to even provide food vouchers for this coming week.

While no refugees have been evicted, service providers have still not been paid by PNG Immigration, and the threat made in a letter last week remains. One of the refugee families was told by the CEO of their accommodation provider, MRT, to “move out” and added, “I can close all the accommodation anytime.”

“Clare O’Neil must urgently provide the money needed to guarantee that refugees have the services that they need to survive. There are two new babies to be supported,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “We know there have been meetings between Home Affairs and PNG Immigration, but nothing has come of them.”

While PNG and Australia argue the toss about who is responsible for the refugees’ welfare, service providers are not being paid and refugees in PNG are facing increasingly desperate circumstances.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” said Rintoul, “Labor is spending over $400 million to keep Nauru open as an offshore detention facility. But they have found nothing to support the refugees they sent there in 2013.”


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  1. Baby Jewels

    I have written to the various Ministers in charge with no reply. Commented on their Fb pages. Weeks ago I read these refugees would be sent to NZ and perhaps elsewhere. Nothing has happened and the refugees themselves are completely in the dark. They are hungry, feel they have no future and are begging Facebook friends to send money. I see exactly how much Labor cares about human life.

  2. Shane Mortimer

    When is something right going to be done in this world. Get with it PNG show the world what PNG hospitality looks like.

  3. Andrew Smith

    Another symptom of the US Tanton Network and using a ‘hostile’ environment, see UK with Tories Rwanda ‘solution’ links with an NGO linked to him, megaphoning by media, Farage et al. and Trump’s travel ban with Tanton links being Bannon & Miller; locally offshoring, PNG, delay in visa processing and incessant media dog whistling.

    Question for Australia, the centre right through left and the ALP especially, who is guiding or directing this policy, apart from relevant Ministers & staff who rely on others’ expertise?

    While the Democrats and UK Labour do not indulge in links let alone nativist policy ideas from Tanton Network, why is it uniquely bipartisan in Australia?

  4. New England Cocky

    It is time to end this inhumane immigration policy for legal refugees and bring them all to mainland Australia, using the funding from closing Manus & Nauru to provide to Australian suppliers (NOT the American jailing corporations) the health, education, language, income support and housing support them refugees require.

    Australia has has two major influxes of refugees since 1945; the ”surplus” Europeans and the escapees from the US Imperialist War in Vietnam & SE Asia. Australia has greatly benefited from these new arrivals. Certainly we will get little from BREXIT BRITAIN that is suffering under the delusion of neoliberalism, or Europe that is watching the East with some trepidation.

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