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Publication Commemorates the 30th Anniversary of Papua New Guinea's Independence

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Media Release

Media Release

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today launched a
historical publication commemorating the 30th anniversary of Papua New Guinea's independence. Australia
and Papua New Guinea 1966–1969
is part of the prestigious
series Documents on Australian Foreign Policy and is the
first of two volumes that will trace Australia's
decolonisation of Papua New Guinea from the mid-1960s up to

The book contains previously classified documents that have been
extracted from the files of many existing and former government
departments including Territories, Foreign Affairs, Defence and
Prime Minister and Cabinet. They tell the story of how Australian
governments of the 1960s tried to maintain a slow pace of political
change in PNG while accelerating economic development.

The book also documents an increasingly vigorous internal debate
on whether to hasten the tempo of political change in view of
growing social strains in Papua New Guinea. Highlights of the
volume cover Canberra's reaction to Papua New Guinean
interest in joining the Australian federation; the genesis of the
Bougainville problem; conflict with a quasi-nationalist movement in
the Rabaul area; early analyses of PNG's unique parliamentary
politics; fears of a break down of law and order in Port Moresby;
and the formulation of a massive five-year plan for economic

The book will be available from the market information officer
in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (02 6261 3114) or
online at

Media Inquiries: DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555

Last Updated: 19 September 2014
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