The National Executive Council has appointed Thomas Eluh as Acting Provincial Administrator for Southern Highlands Province.
In making the announcement, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said strong and capable leadership is required to overcome a number of challenges that have emerged in the region.
A distinguished officer of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, Mr Eluh, has been tasked to engage with community leaders to restructure the public service system and restore public confidence in provincial administration.
“As an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Eluh has demonstrated sound judgement and effective leadership,” the Prime Minister said.
“He has wide experience in the public sector, particularly in the Highlands.
“During the course of the recent elections, the Southern Highlands Province experienced a more peaceful polling period than has been seen in many years.
“However, this has since been undermined and this is not acceptable.
“Effective governance must be restored so that people in the province can continue to grow their businesses, and go about their everyday lives without inconvenience.
“The ongoing growth and development of Southern Highlands Province is more important than the ambition of a selfish few individuals.”
PM O’Neill said as Acting Provincial Administrator, Joseph Eluh will work closely with Provincial Police Commander, Joseph Tondop, to improve public order.
“I call on all community leaders in the Southern Highlands to work with Mr Eluh and PPC Tondop to strengthen public administration in the province.
“We all have to work together if we are to see the Southern Highlands Province reach its true potential.
“There is enormous opportunity for small business, particularly in agriculture, in the Southern Highlands.
“The natural attractions of the region are also very inviting for tourists to visit the province.
“With effective leadership we will see these opportunities continue to increase, and with this appointment, we are taking a very big step in the right direction.”
Mr Eluh’s appointment is for a period of three months, during which time he will restore governance structure and systems, ahead of the full-time appointment of a permanent Provincial Administrator.