Exciting update – I am overseas until 6 December 2019 participating as a member of the Australian Observation Mission (AOM) as part of a Federal government team independently monitoring the Bougainville Independence Referendum in Papua New Guinea.
Australia’s observation of the referendum process signals our ongoing support for the Bougainville peace process following the civil war (1988 - 1997) and reflects our role as a witness to the Bougainville Peace Agreement. The main objectives of the AOM are to be a visible presence during polling, to reassure the people of Bougainville that Australia is interested in the conduct and outcome of the referendum.
The referendum of 206,731 registered voters will occur over 829 locations rolling across the islands over the election period 23 November to 7 December.
The referendum question is: ‘Do you agree for Bougainville to have 1. Greater Autonomy or 2. Independence.
The referendum is not binding but the result will trigger formal consultations between the Bougainville and PNG governments.
I will mostly not have access to the internet but will attempt to post updates when possible.