O’Neill Fires Back at Australian Immigration Minister Dutton

by Fabian Hakalits – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has raised concerns on comments made by Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton at the rising sea level issue, affecting many people in the Pacific island nations.

Mr O’Neill said these comments were most unfortunate because this is a threat being faced by many people.

These comments were made just days after the Pacific Islands Forum where leaders expressed great concern at the threat posed by climate change and rising sea levels, and the suffering people face.

PNG Prime Minister and Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Peter O’Neill in a statement said many communities are affected losing homes and lives to extreme weather brought about by climate change.

He said that connection to the land is very important for Pacific people.

Mr Dutton was caught on camera last Friday in Parliament for joking to Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, about “water lapping at your door”, exposed by media shortly after Australia refused to commit further on climate change pledges. Mr Dutton later apologised, saying it was a “private conversation”.

That decision attracted criticism from Pacific island leaders who said it was a bad joke.

PNG Prime Minister says the Pacific island countries agreed to take a strong collective position to COP-21 and hopes Australia will be genuine and support this position.

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