**** PM TO LAUNCH MILNE BAY’S NATIONAL STRATEGY ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill yesterday arrived in Alotau, Milne Bay Province to officially launch the National Strategy of Responsible Sustainable Development.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill was joined by the Minister of National Planning & Monitoring, Charles Abel; Minister for Forest & Climate Change, Douglas Tomuriesa; Milne Bay Governor, Titus Philemon and other senior dignitaries of Milne Bay Provincial Government at the Gurney Airport.Shortly after his arrival, the Prime Minister was invited to attend a closing session of the first day of the event, held at the Cameron Secondary School, Strang Hall. “The Strategy’ to be launched today will demonstrate that more than ever before this government is a Responsible Government,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.He said this is a government that is truly accountable to its people; with strong determination to harness the experiences of the past and present and nurture the country’s potential for the future. “This is a government that knows the future of its people and what it means to get there. “We understand the day to day struggles of our people and we know what to do to improve their livelihoods,” the Prime Minister said.He said this can be seen as responsible development by a responsible government. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill will address the attendees from the many organisations present and officially launch ‘The Strategy’ based on the theme: Responsible Government means Responsible Sustainable Development for our People, outlining the government’s key policies of education, health, infrastructure and law & order.A dinner was held last night in the honour of the Prime Minister by the Team Milne Bay, which comprises of all the MPs from the province.
**** Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill launches a new development plan in Alotau ****
A National strategy for responsible sustainable development is being launched by Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill in Alotau today. The Prime Minister travelled into Alotau yesterday for the launch. The strategy initiated by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring is about looking at the country’s existing policies or plans and taking a different approach to them. It is a smarter way to development that responds to PNG’s guiding goals and directive principals.Yesterday, a mix of representations from different sectors, from MPs, academics, heads of institutions and technical people contributed to a variety of topics and dialogues on the way forward. Today’s dialogue will continue with the official launch of the strategy.National Planning Minister Charles Abel said yesterday that the strategy stems from the Alotau Accord that does not replace our development plans but elevates within them the principals of responsible development and strategic planning so that PNG can lead the way through a development revolution. “It’s a government focussed on strong areas, or its strengths and trying to be smart about doing its business,” says team leader for the strategy, Misty Baloiloi.A representative from the United Nations pledged support for this strategy, but left a challenge that there needs to be more leadership and guidance from the top to local levels in order to get it rolling. Representatives from The Voice Inc, representing young people, have also pledged support but asked for more debate and discussion so young people understand and take ownership of this new idea. Marie Stopes, an NGO providing sexual reproduction health services, gave a presentation on its service and was supported by the UN’s Population Fund.It was noted that PNG’s population from three million in 1980 has doubled over a 25 year period as it stands at 7.3 million today. Population sustainability is part of the strategy which also includes biodiversity, tuna resources, major river systems, culture and heritage, rain forest and mineral and petroleum resources.
*** Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill: PNG achieved a lot ***
The country has achieved a lot in a short span of time and has a bright future ahead under the country’s current leadership, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. The head of the country, who arrived in Alotau yesterday to launch a new strategy based on sustainable development and green growth principles, was acknowledging a welcome dinner thrown to him by the governor, Titus Philemon on Monday evening.The dinner was attended by a number of governors, ministers and MPS, representatives from different sectors who are in the province to discuss the strategy and witness its launch. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said many critics his leadership tend to forget that PNG has a bright future. He said he is proud to say this government has achieved a lot compared to previous governments. “No government is perfect,” he said. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said he will push ahead the agendas of the Alotau Accord, that was agreed by the coalition government and that is one of the reasons he is in Alotau to launch The Strategy.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill was proud to mention the achievements under his leadership such as investment in education, the fee free policy where 85 per cent of children are now in school. He described the coverage as an astounding increase. He said in terms of law and order many more law enforcers have been trained compared with the previous decade. Economic growth has increased also. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said in health sector, the free health care policy and subsidised specialised care introduced by his government recently is also a milestone. He said there are many more health facilities being built than before. The government has also invested much in infrastructure development.
**** CRIME RATES DROP ****
Serious crimes have dropped sharply since 2012, with police expressing confidence that the trend is likely to continue because of the many changes taking place in the force. Chief of Police Operations and Deputy Commissioner, Simon Kauba, revealed this on Monday when providing an overview of police operations and crime statistics to the newly appointed police minister Robert Atiyafa."Figures for serious crime reported in 2012 and previous years were much higher than the 2013 figures," Mr Kauba said. "Figures for the first quarter of this year, compared to last year for the same period, are very low."The results, according to Mr Kauba, may be attributed to the success of the modernisation program. The program has seen community policing activities such as organising community consultative meetings to discuss law and order issues affecting the community. They focus on how the community can get involved in minimising crime in their respective communities. The low figures have also been attributed to the recent assistance of the Australian Federal Police.There has also been a steady improvement in in-house police discipline and a commitment at the work place. Mr Kauba also revealed that robbery is by far the highest and most prevalent crime in major towns and cities. He said reports of robbery in Lae and Port Moresby are three to four times a day and sometimes on a busy Monday and Friday it exceeds to up to 12 cases in Port Moresby. Three quarters of these robberies are committed by people who have access to firearms, factory made or otherwise, stolen motor vehicles and who are often under the influence of alcohol.For illicit drugs Mr Kauba said the statistics provided cannot be truly reflective of the extent of the problem, considering the fact that illicit drugs such as marijuana grows well in higher altitude areas of PNG. Cases reported on arrests only reflect the number of youths in possession of marijuana for self-consumption. The active youth population in locations where marijuana is grown have become so addicted that elders have now accepted the habit.For serious sexual offences, major centers like Rabaul, Mt Hagen, Lae and Port Moresby are becoming common places for this crime.According to statistics, Rabaul reported the highest rate of sexual offences followed by Port Moresby, Mt Hagen and Lae. Figures suggest that there has been an increase in the reports of serious sexual offences, and the offender in most incidences is known to the victim.Police have been successful in their investigation and arrest of suspects, but more community awareness on how to prevent this crime is currently being incorporated as a strategy in ongoing police and community programs.
**** Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill - Government keen to house cops ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill has announced the Government’s plan to boost police operations in the country. He will make sure this happens by increasing the number of police officers and providing decent housing for policemen and women throughout the country. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said this when launching the ground-breaking ceremony of 150 houses for the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary at the Bomana Police Training College outside Port Moresby on Saturday.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said the Government was committed to ensure policing in the country is improved and brought to new heights. He said the Government embarked on the police modernisation program in 2012 to improve the work of police in the country. “One of the issues identified during the establishment of the program was accommodation issue for our policemen and women,” he said. “We don’t expect our police to serve our community well when we cannot accommodate and secure them with their families. “And that is why it is important that we have to provide decent accommodation for them.”The prime minister thanked Red Sea Housing, the company engaged in the project, for partaking in the bidding process to build the first part of 150 houses for police. Red Sea Housing is a Saudi Arabian-based company and it is recognised as the world leader in the manufacture of buildings.“We are very fortunate to have Rea Sea engaged in this project. I know Rea Sea has been in the country for quite sometime, building houses for the LNG project, and it is not new to PNG conditions,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said. He thanked the chairman of Red Sea Housing, Amr Abdullah Al-Dabbagh, for making his first visit to PNG to participate in the launching of the housing project.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said another 150 houses would be added upon the completion of the first 150 houses. He also announced that the Government will begin rolling out another initiative to provide 890 houses to accommodate policemen and women in each districts in the country. He said tenders would be invited in the next few weeks for the project. Each district would have 10 houses built for police officers. He said the projects were important for the country and the Government would ensure they are implemented to boost police work in maintaining law and order in the country. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill later launched the ground-breaking of the first 150 housing project with the chairman and directors of Red Sea housing.
**** K16.6m for Gordon market upgrade ****
New Zealand will provide K16.6 million for the redevelopment of Gordon Market in Port Moresby, one of the largest in the city.The market’s re-development aims to change the style and environment of fresh produce marketing in the city.Wellington pledged to provide the NZ$7m funding through the United Nation’s Safe Cities Programme in partnership with the National Capital District Commission.Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said the redevelopment of the market was within New Zealand’s overall support for agricultural development in Papua New Guinea. McCully said his government was committed to help PNG develop as much as possible and “at all times ready to help whenever necessary”.He said PNG people relied on agriculture.United Nations Women PNG Country Representative Dr Jeffrey Buchanan said the funding would see a complete refurbishment of the market.“Hardworking market vendors deserve to have a modern, clean, safe and accessible place to earn a living,” Buchanan said. “Under this partnership with the NZ Government, the Safe Cities Programme will rebuild Gordon’s market, utilising all available space to maximise economic opportunities for vendors, customers and the community.” Speaking on behalf of Governor Powes Parkop, Moresby South MP and Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko thanked the New Zealand government and said the market’s renovation would improve the lives of thousands of Papua New Guineans.
**** “ Polye should produce evidence and facts, before being critical of UBS loan, says Nixon Duban” ****
The Minister for Petroleum and Energy Hon. Nixon Duban, MP called on Hon. Don Polye to produce evidence and facts over his claims that the loan from UBS to purchase shares in Oil Search limited was carried out under suspicious circumstances. "I hope the former treasurer knows what he is saying. He is making serious allegations against people and international companies, who’s conduct are governed by strict compliance and regulatory processes.”“We, as responsible leaders should not go around making large and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption" said Hon. Duban. "We have to be careful; as such unfounded allegations can easily derail global investors confidence in PNG and destroy the positive changes occurring throughout the country. It also has a large impact on the people of PNG, as they are looking for credible leaders. Our role as an elected leaders, is to support the people of PNG and not the needs of one individual MP." "Hon. Polye is a senior politician and someone who engaged with international communities in various capacities. As a previous Government Minister, he should have more sense than to start pushing nonsense allegations of wrong doings in the UBS loan. These allegations that are totally unfounded, have a huge impact on our our economy, our people and the country." “His conduct since the reshuffle of the cabinet ministers by the Prime Minister, is not worthy of a leader. I have lost complete respect for him over the past few weeks and so have many other people, including people in the corporate world.” commented Hon. Duban"Now Mr. Polye is also challenging his dismissal as Minister by the Prime Minister in the national court. This has never occurred in the history of the PNG Government. It is the role of the Prime Minister to appoint the cabinet ministers." “ I do not understand Hon. Polye’s agenda or rational for what he is doing. The Cabinet Ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister has the right to decommission us anytime he so desires. That is his prerogative” said Mr. Duban. Mr. Polye’s actions over the past few weeks, and now his legal action, is making our system of government a laughing stock. I am sure the international community who are observing this, are wondering what type of person Mr. Poyle is. He was a person who once held the chairmanship of the board of world bank and IMF, and to now be conducting himself in such a manner is unbelievable."Mr. Polye should accept the decision of the Prime Minister. Like all previous Ministers who has been removed from a cabinet role have over time. If he is so desperate to be a minister, he should humble himself and work with the government to secure a future Ministers role, based on his performance and commitment. Hon. Polye party, THE PARTY plays an integral role and is a member of the coalition Government that is working to improve the future of all PNG citizens. This nonsense and actions need to stop and he needs to get on with the job for the country. I am sure Polye can now use his time and energy to attend to his Kandep electorate, and provide some much needed leadership which his people require at this point in time.
**** Task Force happy with case track judiciary ****
The Investigation Task Force Sweep has welcomed the initiative of the country’s judiciary to fast track the disposition of the fraud and corruption cases. The judiciary set up the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Case Track (FCOT) last month which is to be managed by a judge administrator.Task Force Sweep chairman Sam Koim said in a statement they would “mostly benefit from the establishment of FCOT which should help to fast track its pending cases”. The special track will mainly operate in Waigani but resident judges outside Port Moresby can deal with fraud and corruption cases filed in their areas under the Fraud and Corruption Related Offences Rules. He said Task Force Sweep had 77 cases going through the court process, “34 of which have passed the committal stage and are lined up for trial this year”. “A couple of cases have been struck out but have been referred to the Public Prosecutor for possible filing of ex-officio indictments,” he said. “Unlawful payments made from the Department of Finance to individuals and companies are also being investigated and referred to the courts.” Task Force investigations led to the trial and jailing for nine years of Pomio MP Paul Tiensten for the misappropriation of K10 million of State funds.
**** PRIME MINISTER HON. PETER O'NEILL APPLAUDS PNG PORTS, IPBC ON PORT PROJECT ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill today (10/04/14) commended PNG Ports and the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) for initiating the Oro Bay Port Rehabilitation project in Oro Province.It is the first major maintenance or reconstruction work that is going to be done at Oro Bay Port since 1970 when the Western wharf trestle was built whilst he Eastern wharf trestle was built 18 years later in 1987.The Prime Minister said this important infrastructure project is aligned with the National Government’s priorities, supporting PNG Port’s plans to rehabilitate its network of ports and to provide efficiencies at the wharves for the benefit of its stakeholders.The Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC) Board has facilitated for the approval of the Minister for Finance under the IPBC Act to progress this Rehabilitation Project.“PNG Ports will spend almost K10 million on the Rehabilitation Project and has engaged the services of Curtain Brothers Limited - a reputable engineering and contracting company and has completed many important projects in PNG within time and budget previously, and I am sure they will do the same with this Rehabilitation Project,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.He said it will include the complete reconstruction of the Western trestle and extension to the existing bend at the Eastern trestle to accommodate 40 foot container traffic.“PNG Ports continues to play an important role in the transport sector by absorbing the cost of running the ports and developing the infrastructure to promote economic growth and better living standards among our people in the provinces. “It is fully mindful of the national government’s infrastructure development plans as outlined in the Medium Term Development Strategy and the Vision 2050 to build and maintain significant transport infrastructure to facilitate for the delivery of vital services to the people and will work with key stakeholders in the country to meet these development goals,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.He said well maintained transport infrastructure is essential for the efficient flow of produce to markets and for the flow of consumer goods and services to village communities.“It is widely accepted that the decline in the quality of PNG’s transport infrastructure has had a major adverse impact on service delivery and the capacity of Papua New Guineans to earn cash incomes.Increased transport costs arising from deteriorating infrastructure are reflected in reduced smallholder returns for cash crops and increased prices for basic consumer goods such as rice and tinned fish,” the Prime Minister said.He further acknowledged PNG Ports for infrastructure development projects under its annual capital expenditure (CAPEX) budget and plans. “I am also aware of PNG Ports’ community service obligation (CSO) program for the PNG people’s benefit,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said. He reiterated that PNG Ports is committed under its CSO program, which is very much reflective of the Government’s policy desire to deliver vital services to maritime provinces so that the people can be able to access markets and government services. “The PNG Ports Board’s decision to invest in its CSO program is commendable and I would like to encourage the Board to partner provincial Governments in delivery of your CSO services. The Oro Bay Port Project Rehabilitation is another good example of PNG Ports obligation to this program,” he said.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill also outlined that the Oro Bay Port Rehabilitation Project is consistent with the relevant policies of the GoPNG relating to infrastructure development, which includes port and maritime infrastructure detailed in the Government’s Mid-Term Development Strategy 2005-2010 (MTDS) and the National Transport Development Plan (NTDP).“PNG Ports must be congratulated for adopting the Government initiatives under the MTDS, the overarching economic development policy to improve the economy by enhancing rural development through projects like this designed to reduce poverty, and promote the growth of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism on a sustainable basis,” he said.
**** PRIME MINISTER HON. PETER O’NEILL CONVEYS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE TO SOLOMON ISLANDS ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill yesterday (10/04/14) expressed his deepest and sincere sympathies to the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Gordon Darcy Lilo, and the people of Solomon Islands following the flash floods that caused destruction and deaths.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill announced that the government will assist Solomon Islands with K1 million for relief assistance towards resettlement, infrastructure repair and other efforts, which has been caused by the flash flooding.“On behalf of the people and the Government of Papua New Guinea, I convey our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and pray for God’s peace, comfort and strength during this difficult time,” he said.The Prime Minister said the PNG Government and its people stand united to support and assist in the coming weeks.
**** JUFFA THANKS PM FOR GOVT ASSISTANCE ****
Oro Governor Garry Juffa on Thursday (10/04/14) expressed the Oro people’s gratitude towards the O’Neill-led Government for improved services, never seen before.He openly thanked and welcomed Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill and various Cabinet Ministers who travelled to Oro Province to officially launch the K10 million Oro Bay Port Rehabilitation Project.More than thousands of people both from the Ijivitari and Sohe Districts turned up to welcome and thank the Prime Minister and his Government for the tremendous efforts in providing improved government services like free education and health, unlike in the past 40 years.During his welcome speech, Governor Juffa formally thanked the Prime Minister for his government’s consideration in fully assisting Oro Province by building its four main bridges, which have finally enabled his people to access much needed government services.“Indeed, the ultimate objective of any government is to save lives and this you have most certainly done here,” he said.He said this efforts have certainly helped the people of Oro and we are most grateful.Governor Juffa also thanked the Prime Minister for acknowledging his request and ensuring that Oro would be one of the first provinces to be considered for an airport upgrade project worth K35 million, which will commence this September.“My people are also candidly thankful to you for bringing this project of the port rehabilitation. We are indeed humbled,” Mr Juffa said.In support of the Governor, the Ijivitari MP and Former Minister for Higher Education, David Arore, thanked and welcomed the Prime Minister and further assured him that all the provincial MPs were already working closely with the government for their people’s benefit.“We, the MP’s of Oro Province, are serious in serving our people and refrain from playing ‘petty politics’. “Our main focus now is to fully serve our people’s agendas, which supersedes any other agenda of this country,” Arore said.Also present at the launching was the Sohe MP and Minister for Higher Education, Delilah Gore, State Enterprise Minister Ben Micah, Forest Minister Douglas Tomuriesa and the Transport Minister, Ano Pala.
**** PRME MINISTER HON. PETER O’NEILL - US NAVAL PRESENCE IN PNG DISCUSSED ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill today (15/04/14) met with the United States-Pacific Naval Commander, Admiral Samuel Locklear III, to discuss various matters involving the US Army presence in Papua New Guinea.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said the discussions included the government’s interest to increase the US army presence in the country, seek in-depth army training for our PNGDF soldiers and assist with security during the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Corporation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in the country.“Admiral Locklear and I today discussed the possibility of increasing the US army presence in PNG, particularly its navy,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.He said there will also be a training arrangement, where PNG soldiers will be trained by the US army, as part of their capacity building.“During our talks, Admiral Locklear, upon my invitation, further agreed to provide additional naval security support during the 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit, which will be hosted here in Port Moresby,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.The Prime Minister also met with the executives of Total – an exploration company which has formed a strategic partnership with Oil Search Ltd to assess other exploration opportunities in PNG and Talisman Energy - a global upstream oil and gas company, headquartered in Canada. Talisman has two main operating areas: the Americas (North America &, Colombia) and the Asia-Pacific.
**** EASTER MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER, HON PETER O’NEILL CMG MP ****
As a Christian nation, Easter has real and special meaning for the people of Papua New Guinea.While Easter may also be about Easter eggs, and a long weekend holiday, it also reminds us of the wonderful sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all Christians on the Cross on Good Friday – and his glorious rising from the dead on Easter Day.It is also a time for Papua New Guinea to give thanks for the contribution the Christian Church has made to our people, and our communities, since the arrival of the first missionaries well over a century ago, and ever since.It is also an opportunity for all of us to think over Christ’s life on earth two thousand years ago – and the example he set for all Christians to seek to follow. So at Easter we think of his death and his rising from the dead – and what that has meant for Christians down through the ages to the present time.In churches and church gatherings right across our nation this Easter weekend Papua New Guineans will gather to mark this most holy of occasions in the life of the Christian Church.As we do so, I hope we will all remember Our Lord’s sacrifice on Good Friday, and then the great triumph over evil which Easter Day honours and celebrates. I hope we will also pray for the continued growth and health of our Churches in every part of our nation – and for the absolutely vital work the clergy, the members of religious orders, and lay workers, carry out in educating our children, looking after the health of many communities, helping the under-privileged, and encouraging our youth about the values of family life.In reality, that is the Easter Message in action in Papua New Guinea.It reflects the wonderful legacy of our Saviour – sacrifice for us and our sins, and rising in triumph to ensure His Church provides spiritual guidance and leadership for all Christians, and contributes in a way we simply could not do without meeting the basic services and needs of communities in every part of Papua New Guinea.I am proud that my Government has not just provided direct funding to our Churches for some of the services they provide, but we have also made a commitment to expanding a partnership between the Government and the Churches in the future to add to these services, and extend them to new areas of need. I know this commitment has been warmly welcomed by the leaders of our churches – and by you the people of Papua New Guinea.I thank all our Churches for working with my Government to help us deliver the services you deserve – and for delivering them with commitment and compassion.My wife, Linda, joins me in wishing you all a Safe Easter – and may this be an Easter when we all commit ourselves to follow as much as we can the message Jesus Christ left with us by his sacrifice and triumph 2,000 years ago.It is as relevant, and important, today as it was on the first Easter Day.A Happy and Safe Easter to you all!
**** The National Executive Council made various appointments of senior bureaucrats recently ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said Cabinet endorsed these various appointments and these included the appointments of:- Ilagi Veali as National Executive Council Secretary;- Kevin Kautu as Executive Director of the Coastal Fisheries Development Agency;- Joel Alu as Acting Managing Director of the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority;- Raka Taviri (Jnr) as Managing Director of Water PNG;- Andrew Posong as Provincial Administrator for Manus Province and;- Leslie Alu as City Manager of National Capital District. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill congratulated those senior public servants and urged them to continue their good work with distinction and honour. On the same note, the Prime Minister also confirmed that Cabinet had revoked the decision of declaring a state-of-emergency on the Angau Memorial General Hospital in Morobe Province. NEC has further approved the appointments of new members of the hospital board, which include the appointments of:- Micah Yawing - National Department of Health;- Sarah Todd, Ian Chow & Nellie Mclay – local business representatives;- Pastor Bonny Sinako – local church representative;- Dr Simon Kasa – hospital staff representative and;- Carol Yawing, Sharon Lewis & Nigel Marip - representing local communities.
**** Liquor ban during Easter ****
A liquor ban has been imposed in Port Moresby and other centres as the Government and police urge the people to have a crime-free and peaceful Easter weekend.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill in a special Easter message urged everyone to focus on the “wonderful sacrifice Jesus Christ made for all on the Cross on Good Friday - and his glorious rising from the dead on Easter Day”.“I hope we will also pray for the continued growth and health of our churches in every part of our nation, and for the vital work the clergy, members of religious orders and lay workers carry out in educating our children, looking after the health of many communities, helping the under - privileged, and encouraging our youth about the values of family life,” he said. The liquor ban in the capital city will be effective from Friday to Tuesday.City manager Leslie Alu said the ban would apply to the dealers, taverns, bottle shops, takeaway shops and public bars in limited hotels and publicans. Exempted are restaurants where alcohol is taken as part of the meal clubs where alcohol is restricted to members and guest of members only, publicans where liquor is taken as part of meal by lodgers, guests and diners only and limited hotels where alcohol is taken as part of meal by lodgers, guests and diners only.NCD Police acting Metropolitan Commander Superintendent Perou N’Dranou warned people to maintain peace and order this weekend. He said roadblocks would be set up around the city.Easter operation “Jesu Maino” started last Friday with commanders of police stations, Dog Unit, Mobile Squad Unit and the Police Band briefed on what to do.In East Sepik, Police Mobile Squad Commander James Bisai said they would start a special operation from today to monitor road users in Yangoru-Saussia and people from other districts who used the Sepik Highway.Similar operations are planned for Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen, New Ireland and Goroka.Liquor ban imposed in the highlands region will also be closely monitored this weekend. In Gulf, road blocks are planned between Kerema and Malalaua and the borders along Central, provincial police commander Lincoln Gerari said.
**** Tourism resource underutilised: Marape ****
Tourism is Papua New Guinea’s biggest under-utilised resource, Finance Minister James Marape said yesterday.Mr Marape is visiting the Trobriand Islands with the Minister for Forests and Climate Change and local Member Douglas Tomuriesa.The Cabinet ministers were on the Kiriwina Island to officiate at the local members iron roof distribution program for his district of Kiriwina-Goodenough.The two ministers were given the traditional tapioca dance and showered with cultural exhibits from the islands of love.Minister Marape said Papua New Guinea is a country blessed with cultural and environmental diversity that is second to none on planet earth and that properly preserved and harvested the benefits can far outweigh the benefits from other resource extractions and projects in Papua New Guinea. "Tourism is a pot of gold more precious than any mines or resource projects in this country.""Imagine our country receiving one million tourists a year and say each tourist spends minimum K2000 that is K2 billion into our economy. Unlike other industries where the benefit is not immediately felt, with tourism, kina is directly injected into the local economy."Minister Marape appealed to Papua New Guineans for a good law and order environment for them will reap the benefits when tourists flock into their areas."The O’Neill-Dion Government is viewing tourism with great enthusiasm and has designated the New Guinea Islands and Milne Bay and Oro as our hub of tourist destinations, apart from other niche tourist areas and cultures in Papua New Guinea where tourist want to visit."Places like Milne Bay Province and the Trobriand Islands can flourish with tourism. The government has built a good wharf at Kebola which has seen three big cruise ships visit the island this year and we expect more to come.The government will commit to more infrastructure development all over Papua New Guinea either through local level, district or provincial government funding or national government intervention programs."We are building roads and highways; we are improving airports and wharves; we are making great headway in information technology. Thus the government will work towards improving infrastructure in our country.Our program covers the entire country, it will take a period of consistent intervention and funding over 15 years to fully realise our dreams of a well developed infrastructure."While we are working on it, we appeal to our people in Trobriand and all over Papua New Guinea to give this nation a good law and order environment and your various government agencies will bring development to the country."Tourism is very much dependent on good infrastructure and law and order, we ask people to commit to maintain good law and order.
**** Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill has welcomed the World Bank’s support for the government’s agriculture and road maintenance program ****
Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch was in Washington DC (USA) last week to sign an agreement with the Bank securing US$150 million (K55.92m) for the initiatives."The World Bank has been our development partner for a long time now. The support for the two initiatives is an ongoing one, and is tailored towards our government’s priorities and development agenda, and I welcome their commitment,” Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.US$30 million (K91.18m) will be spent to support over 60,000 small cocoa and coffee farmers. They will utilise this to double their production over five years under the Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project.Under the second initiative, US$120 million (K364.74m) will be spent on a road maintenance and rehabilitation program which started in 2011."The credit this facility provides to our small cocoa and coffee farmers in the country supports the Small and Medium Enterprises Initiatives of our government."Our aim is to make credit available to as many Papua New Guineans as possible to lift agriculture production." "I urge all Papua New Guineans out there to utilise these facilities, seek credit that is available to get involved in small businesses and agriculture.""The second part of this initiative will be spent on maintenance and rehabilitation of roads to open up and improve access to the markets for some of our remote areas."This supports our massive infrastructure development program that is being implemented across the country now.""In five years, this initiative will reach more than the 60,000 farmers that is envisaged because of the infrastructure program that is being rolled out now by our government," Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said.
**** NEC APPROVES FUNCTIONAL & EXPENDITURE REVIEW OF PNG CORRECTIONAL SERVICE ****
The National Executive Council has recently approved a functional & expenditure review of the Papua New Guinea Correctional Service.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said Cabinet has endorsed for a conduct of a functional & expenditure review of the PNGCS & the National Prison System and further approved a budget of K2.5 million for PNGCS to fund the proposed review.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said NEC has also approved the establishment of the Ministerial Steering Committee to provide oversight for the proposed review.He said this issue is being addressed as there is currently over-crowding in the prison system.“PNGCS has embarked on upgrading several of its correctional institutions. The Baisu and Beon prison facilities were given a facelift in 2011 & 2012 with modern facilities for women detainees and fencing of the male compounds.“Improved water supplies to Bihute Jail in Eastern Highlands Province and Kerevat in East New Britain Province have ensured better living conditions for prisoners there,” he said.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill said but elsewhere, like in Lakiemata Prison in West New Britain and Bundaira near Kainantu, faulty water pumps continue to hamper water supplies to these facilities.The prison review is aimed at achieving the following outcomes:1. High corporate excellence and good governance leading to effective service delivery;2. Highest number of detainees accessing quality services in correctional institutions;3. Highest number of convicted detainees rehabilitated back into the society;4. A user-friendly infrastructure in place for use by Correctional Service and;5. An industrious human resource contributing to national development.The Prime Minister has expressed grave concern on the state of security of correctional institutions throughout the country and has pledged his government’s support for this review.
**** Koki Market gets K8 million for upgrade ****
Koki Market in the National Capital District will undergo major upgrading at a cost of over K8 million.The National Government funded K5 million while K3 million will be jointly funded by the NCDC and Moresby South District Services Improvement Program Funds. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill officiated at the ground breaking ceremony of the project yesterday within the market premises.The Prime Minister said his government is focused on infrastructure development throughout the country, therefore such project was vital for the people of Moresby South and NCD. "Koki Market is the landmark of PNG and is one of the oldest and eminent markets of all time where so many livelihoods depend daily on."Therefore it is important such market is maintained for the benefit not only for the people of Moresby South but for the whole city," he said. The Prime Minister urged the surrounding communities and the regular market vendors and customers to look after the market once it is completed.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill has clarified that the government is not wasting money but is investing directly to where the bulk of people are and that is by delivering infrastructure developments and much needed services to them. "We’re not wasting money but we’re bringing development to the people. Such development is taking place not only in NCD but throughout the country."We’re directly diverting funds for the projects like never before, this government is focused on effective service delivery, therefore it is directly managing the funds,"he said.The Prime Minister said over K1.6 billion was disbursed to provinces and districts throughout the country last year in which the government will be doing the same this year.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill has appealed to youths to refrain from illegal activities such as drugs, alcohol, pick-pocketing and other criminal activities. "The country is developing and a lot of changes are taking place so we need to change and become better citizens and cope with these developments," he added.The new market will host state of art facilities and market space for vendors, 36 self contained shops, a fruits and vegetables area, cafeteria, more than 80 car parking space, standard toilets and bathroom facilities and four classrooms for skills training amongst others. Meanwhile, the K10 million fish market facility is also underway at Koki which was funded by the government through the National Fisheries Authority and NCDC.
***ANZAC DAY DAWN SERVICE, BOMANA WAR CEMETERY, 25 APRIL 2014. ADDRESS BY THE PRIME MINISTER, HON PETER O’NEILL CMG MP ***
To everyone gathered here this morning, let me welcome you to a significant event.The Bomana War Cemetery has a deeply significant place in the history of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.It is on this day that we commemorate the bravery, sacrifice and service of many thousands who fought on our lands, and in our waters, over seventy years ago to preserve our freedom and liberty, our well being, and our future.It is especially appreciated by our own surviving World War Two servicemen, and carriers, and their families…..partners, sons, daughters, and grand and great grandchildren who are here with us today.The passage of time has not diminished the importance of the celebration of ANZAC Day, and the service and sacrifice by so many Australian's, New Zealander's, and our own heroes.If anything, there is a wider, and growing understanding of the history of the World War Two campaigns in Papua and New Guinea.The focus on Kokoda Track especially underlines the increasing interest in the campaigns, and the sacrifices, that we remember today.Papua New Guineans will never forget easily the courage and sacrifice of Sergeant Katue of the Papua Infantry Battalion, Sergeant John Ehava, Corporal Sanopa of the Royal Papua Constabulary, and men and women like them who served in Kokoda, Buna, Salamaua or Milne Bay.Our government will continue to work with the Australian Government, and with service and ex-service organisations, to preserve our history, to ensure we always remember those darkest years when the bond between both countries was strengthened through the deeds of our servicemen.This sacred place is the final resting place of 3,069 Australian service personnel, whose names are known, and faithfully preserved and recorded.It is also the resting place of at least 39 members of the Papuan Infantry Battalion.Today we remember the sacrifices made by these very brave men and women. As we chart a course for our future, let us not forget that our nations stand strong, proud and free today through the selfless deeds of our heroes.They have a special place in our history, and we always remember them in the years to come.Let me finish here by reciting the words of Milne Bay nurse Maiogura, who risked her life seventy one years ago to save Australian Aircraftsman Donegan who was found drifting in the sea after being downed by enemy gunfire.She hid him in her village, which was already behind enemy line, and nursed him until he was able to return to his unit.In a ceremony held later by the RAAF to thank Nurse Maiogura, she simply said, “I give thanks to God that I was able in some small way to assist my very good Australian friends”.That is the spirit of the friendship that binds us. Lest we forget.
**** Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill pays tribute on the passing of former SHP Provincial Assembly Member, Late Chief Koke Itua ****
Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill paid tribute on the passing of former Southern Highlands Provincial Assembly Member, late Koke Itua. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill said the people of SHP have lost an iconic leader who worked hard since the colonial era to bring the province to where it is now. “On behalf of my family and the people of Ialibu-Pangia, I pay tribute on the passing of this great leader who played a vital role in the development of the Ialibu-Pangia district and the Southern Highlands Province as a whole. "Late Koke was a leader respected not only by his people but also throughout the country. The SHP people will surely miss the leadership that he portrayed throughout his life," Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill said. Late Koke was born in 1941 and started his career as an interpreter for Pangia district during the colonial era. He became the first councillor of the Walapape village in the Pangia district in 1972 and was elected as a council president for Pangia district in 1974. He was appointed the Chairman of Pangia District Area Authority and was elected as the first SHP provincial assembly member in 1980. Koke was the Minister for Health and Education in the SHP provincial assembly from 1982 to 1990 under the Premierships of late Tei Abel and Yaungten Koroba. Late Koke was awarded an MBE (Member of British Empire) in 2009 in recognition for his contribution. He was also the chairman of the Peace and Good Order Committee for the Ialibu-Pangia electorate until he passed away at the Port Moresby General Hospital on 19th April, 2014. Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill who accompanied the body to Pangia on Friday (25/04/14) said it will take a while for another leader to fill the late Koke’s shoes. Community leader David Aiye thanked Prime Minister Hon. Peter O'Neill for making time despite his busy schedule to accompany the Late Koke’s body home. The Prime Minister is expected to attend the funeral service on Monday (28/04/14).
**** PRIME MINISTER HON. PETER O'NEILL MEETS EU DEVELOPMENT COMMISSIONER ****
The European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs yesterday (29/04/14) paid Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill a courtesy call at his Parliament House office in Port Moresby.The purpose of his visit was to hold discussions with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister and other relevant agencies on development cooperation and the signing of two new projects on human resources development and on rural economic development.Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill welcomed the Commissioner to the country and assured him that the Government is prepared to take on these projects as they are in line with the National Government’s objectives.He announced that the first project on HR development is valued at K90 million and will focus on providing technical and vocational education to help the country’s labour markets. He also said the second project worth K110 million will aim at generating income through infrastructure-related activities such as rural rehabilitation and maintenance, or by increasing access to financial services for agricultural value chain financing. Commissioner Piebalgs and his delegation will end their Papua New Guinea visit today (30/04/14).
**** Police top management committed to holding policemen accountable and ending police brutality ****
The top management of the Royal PNG Constabulary is committed to holding members of the police force accountable for their actions and ending police brutality, Commissioner of Police Toami Kulunga made this known following queries raised by the media in relation to a number of alleged human rights abuses by members of the RPNGC.Last month a video was posted online showing a man being viciously attacked by police dogs. Commissioner of Police Toami Kulunga condemned the action and directed for an investigation to be undertaken into the matter.“The Constabulary and its members do not have the powers to arbitrarily hand out punishment on offenders. We operate within the premise that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a Court of Law. Such alleged abuses, either by policemen or in this instance police dogs, will not be tolerated by my management,” Commissioner Kulunga said.Details of the investigation and actions taken will be released to the media as soon as the investigation is completed, Commissioner Kulunga said.A total of ten policemen including a commissioned police officer have been arrested and charged, both criminally and administratively over the cutting of the heels of 74 suspects by police at 7 Mile in the National Capital District. Administratively all policemen have been suspended. The cases of the members charged criminally are also currently before the Courts.In relation to another incident over the Easter weekend where policemen allegedly broke into and looted a shop at the Gerehu Suburb, Commissioner Kulunga promised that the matter will be thoroughly investigated as well and if true criminal and disciplinary actions will be taken against the policemen.“The alleged actions of the policemen go against the very reason why we wear the police uniform. Our primary objective is to protect life and property and to maintain and as necessary, enforce the law in an impartial and objective manner. My management maintains a zero tolerance level on abusive, corrupt and unprofessional policemen and policewomen and will take the strongest action available,” Commissioner Kulunga concluded.
**** Government backs housing plan ****
The National Planning Department yesterday presented a funding of K7 million to the National Housing Corporation to carryout preliminary work on the establishment of affordable homes in the Nation’s Capital.The cheque payment was presented to acting Managing Director of National Housing Corporation John Dege by National Planning Minister Charles Abel at the Vulupindi Haus in Port Moresby yesterday.Minister Abel said the funding was part of a K61 million allocated by the government to build affordable homes in districts throughout the country. He said the government’s aim was to build a total of 40,000 affordable housing with 40 houses per districts to reduce the housing problem faced by ordinary people in the country.He said the National Planning Department will work in partnership with the public and private sector to ensure achieves the government’s object of affordable housing throughout the country.He said part of the K61 million will be paid to other government agencies such as Lands department do carryout out their part in delivering the houses. "The houses would be relatively small in design to fit the block of the land and will be built in such a way that the ordinary people can afford to buy," Mr Able said.In receiving the cheque, Mr Dege said the funding would assist ensuring that the Corporation completes the surveys and other preliminary works that are mandatory for the Corporation to progress with the issuance of title with the fiscal planning board."Once when the titles are processed, then we’ve made a commitment to consolidate all the titles and pass it on to the National Planning Department to keep them in safe custody. When the funding becomes available, we will continue to construct the public service housing scheme that will be available for public servants throughout the nation.
**** Narcotics Bureau wants tough action ****
The government has been urged to pass stiff laws on drug related offences to clamp down on the use of illicit drugs and alcohol.According to the National Narcotics Bureau, the trade, consumption and cultivation of illicit drugs such as marijuana has been on the rise and had contributed to a lot of social problems in the communities, hence the need for the government to intervene.In the meantime, the bureau’s Director General John Mapusa and his officer’s rolled out an awareness drive that will cover villages and rural communities in the Southern region to inform youths on the dangers involved in the use of illicit drugs.The campaign started last week in several villages in Rigo in the Central Province where narcotics officers were on the ground to educate youths to refrain from taking drugs and home-brewed alcohol which had been prevalent in the villages and affecting the health and wellbeing of youths.The bureau’s education and awareness co-ordinator Lawrence Tau with the assistance of the bureau’s public relations officer Aja Potabe ensured the message were delivered to the targeted audiences in the villages by working closely with community leaders and councillors in the awareness campaign.Mr Tau used his radio and comedy skills to attract youths during the awareness drive by cracking his popular jokes and later informed them on the consequences and the dangers of drugs and alcohol.The next narcotics team will continue the awareness onto Aroma coast in Central Province in the coming weeks.