Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister James Marape says he wants Australia to stop Paladin’s contract for security work on Manus Island immediately.
Mr Marape addressed PNG’s Parliament on the issue, in the first sitting day since he was elected.
The company’s $423 million contract for work with refugees and non-refugees on the island comes up at the end of the month.
Mr Marape said PNG “will not tolerate” foreign companies undertaking work such as security in the country, which he said could be done by local firms.
“We don’t intend for foreign contractors to operate here in business like security – it is a business that local companies can be engaged in and I ask the Australian Government to stop this contract forthwith,” he said.
He said that “as far as the PNG Government is concerned” the contract should be terminated.
The controversial awarding of a Government contract to Paladin Group is currently being investigated by Australia’s Auditor-General.
The relatively unknown company was registered to a beach shack on Kangaroo Island and a PO Box in Singapore.
More to come