Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is the largest recipient of Australian aid, receiving $546 m in the 2017-18 financial year. Australians are divided, however, on the effectiveness of that aid: 37% agree that ‘Australian aid to Papua New Guinea has little impact on life in Papua New Guinea’, while 45% disagree. That does not mean that Australians believe they have no responsibilities towards Papua New Guinea. Three quarters (76%) say that ‘stability in Papua New Guinea is important to Australia’s national interest’, and a similar proportion (77%) say ‘Australia has a moral obligation to help Papua New Guinea’.
The Manus Island detention centre has been a contentious political issue and a frequent topic of debate in Australia. A majority of Australians (59%) say ‘Australia’s relationship with Papua New Guinea has been damaged because of the Manus Island detention centre’.
They are uncertain about Papua New Guinea’s economic future, with 34% agreeing and 46% disagreeing that it has ‘strong economic prospects’.