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Aust should rethink PNG aid: Labor senator

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Belinda Merhab

A Labor senator has called for a rethink of Australian aid to Papua New Guinea, arguing it's not being well spent.

Alex Gallacher, who chaired a Senate inquiry into the effectiveness of Australia's aid program in PNG, says Australia spends an "inordinate" amount of money in PNG, with questionable effectiveness.

About $5 billion in Australian aid has been given to PNG over the past decade and the nation has also experienced solid economic growth over 15 years.

"You have a GDP which is growing, you have a continual line of expenditure of Australian aid and unfortunately ... there doesn't appear to be any measurable indicators of success," he told parliament on Thursday night.

"The poor are still very poor, the areas of need are getting more pertinent and I really do struggle to assess this as being a good spend of public money."

Senator Gallacher said there was difficulty in getting aid dollars where they were needed in PNG.

"I'm not saying we should reduce our aid. I'm saying we should really shake it up."

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