Category Archives: National

Works Minister: Opening of Missing Road Links, Government’s Priority

Source: EmTV Online

Tucked under rugged ranges between Gulf and Eastern Highlands is Menyamya, one of the least developed districts in the country.

 

 

However, this under developed district is rich with fertile soil renowned for producing one of the country’s best organic coffee.

 

 

“We produce some the best organic coffee in the country, but we don’t have roads to transport them to nearest markets in Lae or Goroka,” a local said.

 

 

Like many isolated rural communities, road access remains a barrier to development and for Menyamya, it has been a barrier for their economic progress and access to basic services.

 

 

In the last 5 years the O’Neill-led Government has prioritised the opening of missing road links.

 

 

On Tuesday, Works Minister, Michael Nali, told the people of Menyamya that the Government will allocate funding from a K3 billion Asian Development Bank loan in order to open missing links in the district.

 

 

“There are many road links in the district, once we open the trans-highway between Gulf and Morobe, Menyamya will be open to the rest of the country as well,” Minister Nali said.

 

 

The K3 billion funding from ADB will be put to reconstruct the entire Highlands Highway, Nadzab to Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.

 

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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.”

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.

Review into rental market

Source: Loop PNG

By: Cedric Patjole

 

The Independent Consumer & Competition Commission (ICCC) will carry out a comprehensive review of the rental market in the country.

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Charles Abel, said he has tasked the commission to carry out the review in a bid to fully understand the factors causing high rental costs.

 

Abel said while the government’s initiative to make housing more affordable though is First Home Ownership Scheme is still ongoing, there are still many who rely on rental accommodation.

 

Accompanied by his Vice Minister for Treasury, Win Daki, Abel visited the ICCC yesterday as part of a routine stopover at various government institutions.

 

During their visit, the Deputy Prime Minister, announced the inclusion of the rental markets review, among existing reviews the commission is undertaking.

 

Abel said the rental market may need intervention, however, that will be decided once the review is completed and presented to the government.

 

“Many of us rely on rental to put a roof over our heads and our families. And in a general sense we want to allow free market activity. But I think in selected areas maybe for interim arrangement we can come up with Government intervention.

 

“So in the first instance we have to have the correct facts and figures, and the ICCC I’ve asked the Commissioner to look at the rental markets starting in Port Moresby, and is it reasonable? Is the private sector imposing upon us and the citizens within the housing market rates that are at a fair profit margin? Or are they unfairly imposing rental costs on our citizens which transfer value unfairly to elements of the private sector,” he said.

 

Through his visit Abel also wanted to know about the status of the commission.

 

He also announced that his Vice Minister would directly be responsible for the affairs of the ICCC.

 

ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said once they receive the Terms of Reference from the Government they will begin the review.

 

The review will begin in Port Moresby.

Minister Basil Appointed to Drive Technological Advancement in Communications, Information Technology and Energy

Approved for Release: 18 October 2017
Office of the Prime Minister,Papua New Guinea
 
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has announced a realignment in ministerial portfolio allocations with the appointment of Hon. Sam Basil MP as Minister Responsible for Communications, Information Technology and Energy.
 
The changes in portfolios will strengthen the National Government’s focus on key growth sectors that will have a direct impact on business development and community advancement.
 
“Minister Basil will be responsible for the energy and communications sectors that are crucial for growing a modern economy,” the Prime Minister said.
 
“I have great confidence in the minister’s capacity to meet both the challenges and opportunities that our country faces in these areas.
 
“There are clear synergies between the energy and communications sectors brought about by technological advances that are enabling Papua New Guinea to deliver positive change not only in urban areas, but also in rural and remote areas.
 
“The global energy sector is continually evolving with access to more cost-effective power generation and Papua New Guinea must be at the forefront of harnessing new technologies.
 
“Modern sources of energy production are more efficient and environmentally friendly, reducing the impact on local ecologies and reducing the causes of climate change.
 
“Through embracing renewable technologies, more energy can be harvested locally and does not require the same infrastructure that was needed with traditional energy delivery.
 
“We will continue to advance a balanced approach to energy production and supply, using existing technologies where appropriate and deploying new technology across the country.
 
“Strengthening our energy security and ensuring access to power for our people enables business to expand and helps our communities develop.”
 
PM O’Neill said similar to the energy sector, information technology has seen generational change in the way people communicate.
 
“As a developing country we must step deeper into the digital world and deliver access to better communications for our people.
 
“The Internet, smart phones and more secure platforms for communication are all part of the communications revolution that has been taking place in recent years.
 
“Papua New Guinea has already seen one of the most rapid up-takes of new digital communications in the world and we must increase penetration into remote areas.
 
“Through better communications, people around the country have access to information that changes lives.
 
“Doctors can access the latest techniques to better treat illnesses and injuries, teachers can deliver improved education for their students, and families can stay in touch regardless of distance.
 
“Several years ago APEC committed to achieve village access to the Internet as a baseline and we are working to achieve this goal.
 
“As Minister, Sam Basil will make sure there is increased consultation with our partners and global experts, and work through APEC to improve access to improved technologies that can be implemented at the local level.”
 
The Prime Minister thanked outgoing Communications Minister, Hon. Francis Maneke MP, for his service as Minister and expressed his appreciation to embrace the Cabinet reshuffle.
 
“Ours is a Coalition Government in which we must have representation in the Cabinet for all partners in the Government.
 
“There is a set number of Cabinet positions available, and I thank the Honourable Member, Francis Maneke, for placing the interests of the Government and the Nation above all else.
 
“He is a very capable Member and Minister and has a strong ministerial future in the years ahead.
 
“In our system of Government it is essential that we continue to evolve Cabinet and Ministerial allocations in the interest of ensuring consultation and diversity of representation.
 
“Together, in our Government, across districts and provinces, and agencies and departments, we will work together to deliver positive change for the people of Papua New Guinea.”
 

Kerowagi To Have New Airstrip

October 18, 2017

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY LYNETTE KIL 

The people of Kerowagi district in Chimbu Province will soon have access to a new airstrip after more than 70 years.

The last flight out of Kerowagi was in 1935 by an airplane run by the Lutheran Church.

Local MP and Vice Minister for Mining Bari Palma initiated the airstrip project as one of the major impact projects for the district.

“This project will become the major catalyst for the creation of a local based economy that will benefit the people in a big way.

“I’ve got bigger plans for the district. All I want is total cooperation from the landowners whose land will be affected by projects,” Mr Palma said.

“If we want more developments we need to free up land and allow contractors to mobilise their equipment and freely engage in the contracts awarded to them.” He said landownership issues have always remained a major hindrance to development.

The first phase of the 1.4km runway clearing has been completed last week and this week, the local contractor Kaiaworks Engineering Limited is into the second phase with gravelling and compacting.

Mr Palma said there are plans in place to open up the airstrip for both Simbu and neighboring Jiwaka provinces adding that would encourage business opportunities to thrive in the region.

“As part of my long term vision, I wish to open up Kerowagi as a central highlands economic hub by which the airstrip is seen as a focal point for all economic activities,” he said.

“There’s a MOU already in place with the Outback Aviation in Australia. The company will take Kerowaghi as its central area of business and further improvements will be done to the airstrip to make it reach the national standards to serve the people well.”

First Secretary David Dom and other support officers including Thomas Kela, Joseph Wamil and Kagl Kua said the project on the ground is within scope and well coordinated to meet the deadline requirements.

They said the people of Kerowaghi highly commended the MP for initiating such an impact project that will be of benefit to the general populace.

Meanwhile, the Kundiawa airport is currently not in use despite major rehabilitation work done by the National Airports Corporation (NAC).

National Road Strategy

 

October 15, 2017

08:00AM 

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY JEFFREY ELAPA

 

A long term Department of Works road network maintenance and management strategy developed recently would address road maintenance throughout the country.

 

Through the strategy, all donor agencies involved in road maintenance programs throughout the country would be re-aligning themselves to assist in road maintenance.

 

Work and Implementation Minister Michael Nali when endorsing the national road network strategy 2018-2040 described it as a blueprint document that will set milestone achievement and will go down in the history of this nation.

 

“This document will serve as a guideline to align all donor programs in PNG road transport infrastructure for the next 20 years.

 

“My Department, with the support of the Australian Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP) has developed an evidence-based strategy to make road maintenance and management work in the country.

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