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This year’s Poll sought to understand Australian attitudes about Papua New Guinea, including the effectiveness of Australian aid; the impact of the Manus Island detention centre on relations between Australia and Papua New Guinea; and Papua New Guinea’s stability and economic prospects.

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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’.

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Papua New Guinea

Now a question about Papua New Guinea. Please say whether you personally agree or disagree with each of the following statements:


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