Author Archives: Anabel

PM O’Neill Calls on Disruptive Elements to be Responsible – Accommodation with Services and Utilities Ready for Use

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has cautioned the ringleaders of a demonstration at the former Manus Regional Processing Centre and said it is time to move to new accommodation.

“The Manus Centre was established for the sole reason of processing asylum claims, now all claims have been processed and the centre has closed,” PM O’Neill said.

“The centre will not be reopened and it will be returned to its former function as a Defence Force facility.

“Given the Supreme Court’s decision, the Government has no choice but to intervene for the wellbeing of both the refugees and non-refugees.

“Those involved in disruption have been identified and appropriate means will be used to apprehend individuals who are causing unnecessary anxiety and violence.

“Their actions are now heading towards a law and order situation, as well as a hygiene and sanitation problem, and it will be dealt with as such, whether they are genuine refugees or not.

“There are 610 men on Manus who have been found to be refugees and arrangements are being made to settle them in third countries.

“There are also 210 men who have been found to not be legitimate refugees.

“Now that the processing of asylum claims has been completed, the relocation exercise is taking place where there is a separation of genuine and non-genuine refugees.

“The locations to where they are being moved have much better facilities than the closed centre, with services and utilities provided for much more comfort and healthier living.

“Our Government and the people of Manus are asking all refugees and non-refugees to behave in a peaceful and orderly manner.”

UN Concerned with Process Followed to Close Manus Processing Center

 

PRESS RELEASE: November 3, 2017

United Nations in Papua New Guinea

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Papua New Guinea is gravely concerned by the process by which the withdrawal of all essential services has been carried out at the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) on Manus Island as of 1 November 2017. We are aware of and support the statement dated 2 November 2017 which was released by UNHCR. The closure of RPC has resulted in more than 600 refugees, asylum seekers, and other related categories of persons, under the responsibility of the PNG and Australian Government, left without food, water, electricity and security which are essential elements of their rights to an adequate standard of living, inherent dignity and right to life. This is a very serious situation requiring urgent attention of both the Government of PNG and Government of Australia.

The UNCT reminds the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia of their obligations under International Human Rights and Refugee Laws which must be upheld in the implementation of plans to close the RPC. The UNCT is concerned about reports that the proposed new places for the relocation do not have sufficient capacity and are not adequately equipped to accommodate all the existing residents of the RPC.
While persons remain at the Centre, the discontinuation of all basic services puts this vulnerable group at serious risk of violation of their right to life. It also has serious implications on their physical and mental health.

The UNCT strongly urges the Government of Papua New Guinea and Australia without delay to restore basic services to the Centre, including food, water, electricity and security, until an effective solution is found. We urge both governments to communicate clearly to the refugees and related categories of person residing at the Centre, and the public, on the roadmap for addressing the immediate and long-term concerns, including identifying practical solutions for resettlement.

For any further information, you may contact Kedar Poudyal
email: kpoudyal@ohchr.org
Phone: +675 321 2877

PUBLIC SECTOR REFORM KEY TO A MORE BUSINESS FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT; PM O’NEILL ENCOURAGES GREATER AUSTRALIAN INVESTMENT

Media Release: October 28, 2017

Office of the Prime Minister Papua New Guinea

The Government is creating a more business-friendly environment for foreign investment, and public sector reform is essential for increasing efficiencies.

This was the assurance provided by the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, when addressing the Australia – Papua New Guinea Business Council in Sydney today.

“Australia is our largest investment partner, and we want to increase business opportunities,” the Prime Minister said to the packed forum.

“We want Australian business to expand investment into Papua New Guinea, particularly into non-traditional areas that are outside the resources sector.

“There are great opportunities in tourism, agriculture and the small to medium manufacturing sector.

Australian companies have technical capacity that will build our key sectors, and from their investment will have a sound return on investment.”

The Prime Minister said the 2018 Budget will soon be presented to Parliament, and it will again be a budget that encourages business and creates jobs.

“In a few weeks time we will present the 2018 budget and there will be no big surprises.

“Our aim is to maintain stability.

“We have a long-term plan to reduce our deficit levels while maintaining health growth in the economy, and maintain stability around inflation and interest rates.

“These priorities are the determinants in framing the 2018 budget.”

PM O’Neill said one of the most important reforms underway in Papua New Guinea is the creating of a more efficient and business-friendly public service.

“An important priority for our Government is addressing the size of the public sector and to make it more efficient and business-friendly.

“We are going to streamline agencies that are not functioning efficiently, and introduce reforms that will raise their service delivery to the expectations of our people and business community.

“We will reform the entire system, and enabling the private sector to be more engaged in non-core functions.

“The country is changing, with more graduates entering the employment market and there is more competition for jobs, particularly in the public sector.

“We cannot be complacent when it comes to the demands of a growing population and expanding business sector.

“Over the coming year and beyond that you will see a huge reduction in the cost of running the cost of the public service.

“This will be accompanied by a more responsive approach in the public service for our people and business community.

“We are making it much easier to do business in Papua New Guinea.”

Men Need to Stand Up to Prevent Violence Against Women ; PM Calls for Communities and Churches to Show Leadership

Approved for Release: 25 October 2017

Office of the Prime Minister Papua New Guinea 

Communities must stand up against any act of violence against women, and Churches must take a leading role in protecting victims and exposing violent men. This is the message from the Prime Minster, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, to community and church leaders, as well as male family members who he said have a natural responsibility to protect their mothers, daughters and sisters.

“A man is a coward if he thinks it is ok to hit a woman, these abusers would not have the courage to hit a man who was bigger than they are, but they hit a woman who is smaller,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have enacted laws to prevent violence against women, but no Government in any country can stop violence against women without the active support of communities.

“There must be zero tolerance in our nation for violence against women, and community leaders must do more to help victims rather than supporting perpetrators.

“Community leaders are not truly leaders if they turn a blind eye to violence against women.

“Every human life matters and must be protected, and domestic violence is totally unacceptable.

“Any community or Church leader who turns a blind eye to even a single case of violence against women has let their people down, and has abandoned the Christian principles our Nation holds dear.”

The Prime Minister further called on the men in families to take a stand against any violence they see.

“I also appeal to the sons of our nation, if your Father beats your Mother you have to show that you are a man and stand up for your Mother.

“Your Mother gave you life, now you must protect her life and show gratitude for her commitment to you.

“The same goes for all the men in families, to brothers, uncles, and other male family members, do not turn a blind eye.”

The Prime Minister said the National Government will increase public awareness aimed at preventing domestic violence. This will be undertaken alongside the commitment of increased resources for police and courts to deal with violent men, as well as increased support for the victims of violence.

 

GREEN ENERGY POLICY NEEDED: BASIL

Environmentally friendly means such as solar, hydro and geothermal may soon become the prime source of energy for the country’s power generation.

Newly appointed Minister for Communication, Information Technology & Energy, Sam Basil says the country’s geographical features provides great potential for this eco-friendly approach.

The three term parliamentarian has had experience in rolling out rural electrification projects in his electorate of Bulolo in the Morobe province.

This he hopes can be replicated throughout all districts in the country.

‘It is my intention to use that experience in rural electrification to address key issues in electricity,’ said Basil.

But while such a plan is in the pipeline for the Minister, a more pressing issue is on hand which he hopes to address soon.

The country currently does not have an Energy Policy to regulate the sector.

The Minister says he will open discussions with concerned statutory bodies to draw up the needed regulatory framework for the policy.

This country is long overdue for an Energy Policy to harness and maximise what we have, as well as what we need, from our development partners and investors,’ said Basil.

The innovative approach by the Minister, which will benefit the country in providing sufficient power generation, also meets the obligations set in the various international conventions that PNG is a part of.

The most recent being the Paris Agreement which was rectified by Parliament last year.
As a signatory to the convention the country has the responsibility to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to help reduce the effects of global warming.

Such a green approach puts the country in good stead in meeting its international obligations and providing an effective service for the people.

With this great potential in the energy sector, Minister Basil says there are development partners that are ready to work with the state in achieving this target.

‘We have investors, development partners and expertise on standby to help us do this. The challenge is on us to harness all these, and other stakeholders, to work in a coordinated partnership approach to achieve this,’ said the Minister.

Source: Gregory Avira PNG TV October 24, 2017 at 12.02pm

Justin Tkatchenko Appointed Minister Responsible for APEC as 2018 Host Year Approaches

Approved for Release

19 October 2017

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced that Hon. Justin Tkatchenko BEM OL MP, has been appointed as Minister Responsible for APEC.

PM O’Neill said with less than two months remaining before the start of APEC 2018, it is timely for the Minister to resume the portfolio he held before the National Elections.

Responsibility for APEC will be added to the Minister’s current portfolio of Lands and Physical Planning.

“Minister Tkatchenko has substantial experience in the co-ordination of major events at the ministerial level,” the Prime Minister said.

“As minister he oversaw the successful delivery of the Pacific Games and the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Hosting APEC is of much greater magnitude, and Minister Tkatchenko is well placed to ensure the successful delivery of all of the components that must be delivered for APEC in the coming year.

“Over the past three years Minister Tkatchenko has had a core role in planning for APEC 2018 in Papua New Guinea, and particularly as APEC Minister prior to elections.”

The Prime Minister said the start of Papua New Guinea’s APEC year is only months away and Government preparations continue to increase.

“Beginning with the Informal Senior Officials Meeting in December, the focus of APEC Member Economies, and the regional business community, will be on Papua New Guinea.

“Through the year we will hold a range of technical and Ministerial meetings concluding with the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November 2018.

“In this time there will be substantial attention on the delivery of major projects including the construction of APEC Haus, the Hilton Hotel and the renovation and upgrade of Morauta House and the National Convention Centre.

“In the delivery phase of APEC we will see the ongoing increase in personnel and the training regime for staff who are delivering APEC logistics, security and the policy agenda.

“Papua New Guinea will experience significant gains from hosting APEC that will not only include the promotion of trade, investment and tourism, but in capacity strengthening in economic sectors.

“The APEC policy agenda and technical support covers a wide range of areas critical for development and the creation of more jobs.

“This includes agriculture, forestry, transportation, tourism and resources, that are all essential for future economic growth in the country.”

October 31st – Official Date for Manus Detention Centre to Stop Operating

Australian Prime Minister Michael Turnbull has commented that refugees in Manus will be removed lawfully by October 31st the official date for the detention to cease operation.

Mr. Turnbull said the Australian and Papua New Guinea Governments will work together to settle the refugees.

A first batch of 54 refugees from Manus were notified of their acceptance to the United States in September, with 24 already in the States, however hundreds remain in Manus.

The Australian Government said refugees refusing to leave will be forced to leave the shores of PNG to their country of origin.

The Australian Prime said the Federal Government has not categorically ruled out cutting off the water supply and sewerage to move detainees on.

Turnbull confirmed that the Papua New Guinea Immigration and Citizenship Service has already found alternative accommodation in Manus Province – the larger group of islands – for the detainees.

If they refuse to return, they will be forced to leave Papua New Guinea by the PNG government.

Source:  Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV Online

Traditional Carvings Removed from Parliament to be Returned

The traditional carvings removed from the Parliament House in 2013, will be restored, and returned.

Speaker of Parliament and Manus MP, Job Pomat, said the Court has ruled for the return of the totems and masks.

Currently the carvings are being kept at the National Museum and Art Gallery. Mr. Pomat told EMTV News that the Court decision must be followed, despite much criticism and discussion surrounding the issue.

The totem and carvings were removed by former Speaker, Theo Zurenuoc in 2013.

However, former East Sepik Governor, Sir Michael Somare, challenged the matter in Court. In May 2016, the matter was pushed to the Supreme Court, but was dismissed.

The Speaker said the House will liaise with the National Museum and Art Gallery, to have the carvings returned. The Speaker is also concerned with the amount of money used in the exercise between 2013 and 2016.

He said an inquiry will be established before a report is tabled.

And, with the totems issue being close to settlement, there is still the question about the Unity Pillar.

Speaker Pomat said the structure’s status in the house will also need to be discussed.

Source:  Jack Lapauve Jnr – EMTV Online

MoU Signing Ceremony between Pacific Adventist University and Enga Provincial Government/Enga College of Nursing

Another milestone achieved for Enga’s human development under the leadership of Enga Governor GC Sir Peter Ipatas and fully backed by Wabag Open MP Dr. Lino Jeremaih Tom as Sir PI signed the MoU paving way for students at Enga College of Nursing and PAU.

Hon Dr Lino Moses in his speech thanked Sir Peter Ipatas for reviving the hospital and the school for the people. He also thanked Sir PI for placing him there to spearhead the project under the guidance of Enga Works/Engineering Unit before becoming MP. He also thanked PAU for the MoU.

Sir PI thanked Dr Lino Moses and all the people involved in this vital project. Together We Can Make a difference.

The biggest obstacle we have now is ‘looking after this vital project and many others in the province’. It is everyone’s duty to look after it so that our children’s children’s children can benefit in the long run so that in return those who graduate and work will look after us when the need arises in hospitals.

 

Basil Thanks Prime Minister O’Neill for his Appointed Ministry

 

Approved for Release

October 18, 2017

Member for Bulolo Hon. Sam Basil today thanked Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill for appointing him as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.

“I look forward to serving the people of Papua New Guinea with the government of the day in line with the Alotau Accord II as well as existing PNG Vision 2050, PNG Sustainable Development Plan 2030 and the Medium Term Development Plan,” said Basil.

“I will issue official statements on the way forward in the ministry of communications, information technology and energy after being briefed by relevant government departments and agencies,” he said.

But as an overview, Mr Basil will be looking at responsible, affordable and accessible communications in radio, television and internet including concerted effort to address cyber crime. He also wants to see a sustainable energy policy and regulatory framework to power up industries, urban areas and more importantly rural Papua New Guinea.

“Energy is often the first utility requirement before water and telecommunications so we must get our Energy Policy right,” said Mr Basil.

Mr Basil wants accelerated thinking on energy policy and regulations with a view of establishing an energy policy and regulation authority focusing on energy generation, transmission and distribution making use of our natural resources and spreading the benefits of energy beyond urban areas and industries to all districts.

In Communications, the Minister intends to review the National Broadcasting Commission and provincial radio stations with a view to re-introduce shortwave and medium wave frequencies to improve radio access in remote rural areas as in the early 1980s.

Minister Basil also wants a review of NBC funding, revenue generation and financial management to see that cash flow and its implications on wages is addressed urgently.

The ministry is the first Cabinet portfolio allocated to Pangu Pati since the cross-over of 15 MPs to Government ranks. The package so far includes two vice ministries (education and fisheries); and a number of parliamentary committee chairs including chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

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