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The Chief Secretary to Government, Ambassador Isaac Lupari CBE has recently assured members of the Diplomatic Community, who are also representatives of the 20 economies that infrastructure development for APEC 2018 has been budgeted for since 2013.

The Chief Secretary said infrastructure development has been a part of government’s key priorities and therefore has been budgeted for by the Government.

“This has been budgeted for every year since 2013 to support this preparation,” Amb. Lupari said.

“You will see in Port Moresby, the road network is absolutely fantastic.

“We knew that we would have some issues trying to take leaders to their accommodation therefore the flyover was built to make it easier.

“We are also collaborating with the private sector for accommodation and we are collaborating with the National Capital District Commission in making sure that Ela Beach is part of the development.

“Besides that we have invested in the training of Papua New Guineans and some of the successes that we have had are the hosting of meetings and games in the country.

“We have had people involved since day one, in terms of protocol, in terms of logistical assistance, so since 2013, the government has been investing strategically in preparation for APEC 2018.

The Chief Secretary said for 2017, the Government has budgeted K250 million for APEC 2018.


He further added that where there is need for additional funding, of course the Government will find a way to source the funding needed.

“The Government is fully committed to APEC 2018,” Amb. Lupari said.

“We are collaborating with the Public and Private sector and making sure that they take part in the hosting of APEC 2018.”

The Chief Secretary said the development of the APEC Haus is a collaboration with Oil Search (PNG) Limited, who will be funding the project at the cost of almost K240 million.

“Good thing is that we have started preparations three years ago.

“The Government has invested in both these activities (APEC 2018 and 2017 Elections), and I am confident that we will deliver the 2017 National Elections and APEC 2018.

“The key challenge for us is not so much economic issues; it is the ability of our Public Service to deliver.

“The Public Service continuous to be the major obstacle to implementation and delivery of the government policies and programs.

“It is important that every public servant in the country reflect on our performance in 2016 and start 2017 with a change in attitude and take greater ownership.

The Chief Secretary said changes in attitude was evidence in 2016 and we must build on these improvements in 2017.

“We owe it to our people and children,” the Chief Secretary said.

“It is incumbent upon all public servants to work together as a team.

“As team PNG we will deliver. It we continue to work in isolation, we will lose.

“Who is going to suffer the pain? It will be us, our children, our families and our people.”

The Chief Secretary urged all public servants to work together and build a better place for all of us.

He said the Government has delivered on its part by putting in place the right policies and the funding; it is now the turn of the public service machinery to play its part in implementation.

“Finally, I encourage leaders from the districts, provinces and at the national level to support the public service including public service reform programmes,” the Chief Secretary said.

“We need your encouragement and support in 2017.”

The Chief Secretary emphasized that our people’s livelihood and lives depend on us.

He said it is time, the beginning of a new era for PNG and that it begins in 2017.

PM Media January 4, 2017  10.35am



Housing Construction Begins

The much-anticipated Duran Farm housing project in Port Moresby is gaining momentum with construction work beginning in earnest to complete the 5000 houses.

Although the installation of water, power, sanitation and other service lines remains outstanding, Housing Minister Paul Isikiel thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for the Government’s K7 million in the 2017 budget.

He said this amount had been designated to fund the vital services in the housing project.

Isikiel said more than 6000 successful applications had been received and processed pending the service arrangement before funds were released to the bank.


“I assure all applicants that finally the Government funds are now made available to ease drawdown of loans with the bank,” he said.

“For those awaiting titles, it’s a good Christmas present.

“The long-awaited asset register is now finalised.

“It is still in draft form pending further additional data after almost 25 years in waiting.

“The first day I came into office, one of my key priorities is the asset register.

“Now I can do business and move NHC (National Housing Corporation) forward with the vital data on the full stock of housing available in the country.”

Isikiel said 2016 has been a challenging year for all stakeholders but he remained optimistic of better things in the new year.

The National News Gynnie Kero December 29, 2016

How I ended up in the jungle with deadly hornets in my hair

This story has no message or purpose. It is one of the winter’s tales – accounts of the many bizarre incidents that have marked my life – that I tell at this time of year. For once, I am not trying to make a point.

In 1987, I was working with the photographer Adrian Arbib in the occupied territory of West Papua. Annexed by Indonesia in 1963, it was being governed with characteristic brutality by the Suharto regime. The indigenous people were being forced off their land and replaced, in a programme sponsored by the World Bank, by migrants from Java and Bali. Many had been tortured and killed. Timber and minerals were being stripped from the territory; palm oil plantations were replacing the rich forests and their remarkable wildlife. Much of this continues today.


Mountain landscape near Membegan, West Papua, Indonesia: ‘Giant hornets swarmed over my body, buzzing frantically.’ Photograph: Jane Sweeney/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images


They looked terrified. I remembered that my shirt was off, my eyes were rolling and I was trembling. I had to reassure them.

We had made contact with the Papuan rebels who were trying to fight the Indonesian state with old rifles and bows and arrows. They had told us to wait in a hotel in Jayapura, the sweaty, sagging capital of the stolen province. They would send someone to collect us and take us by sea to their camp on the border with Papua New Guinea.

The town, swarming with soldiers and secret services, was dangerous to them. After a few days, a man in mirrored sunglasses came into the hotel, bundled us into his jeep and took us to a tin hut in the adjoining shanty town, where the local rebel commander sized us up and eventually agreed to send a boat for us. His messengers would stay in touch.

We waited. And waited. Days went by, during which the messengers came and went, always promising to pick us up the following dawn, then producing a reason later in the day why it couldn’t happen.

Bored rigid, I set off one morning for a walk. The forest close to the town was in tatters, broken up by shifting cultivation. It was a hot day, and I soon took off my shirt and slung it over my shoulder. I followed a trail that took me down to a small stream. I crossed it and began to climb through the burnt trees on the other side. Halfway up the slope, I brushed against a rotten stump. I took another step and found myself under attack.

Giant hornets swarmed over my body, buzzing frantically. I knew how dangerous they were: plenty of people had died from their stings. I also knew that if I stood stock still, they would eventually fly away. For a while, I managed not to twitch. The buzzing became louder as reinforcements poured out of the stump. One of them was climbing up the inside of my leg, into my shorts.

Suddenly I could bear it no longer. I lunged up the slope, shouting and beating them with my shirt. Every sting felt like being punched with a knuckle duster. I panicked more, lashing at the hornets, screaming. Then I suddenly stopped, aware that I was being stung to death.

Heart pounding, breathing raggedly, I waited until the last of them disentangled themselves from my hair and they returned to the stump. I could feel every sting: there were eight. I suspected I was as good as dead.

I stumbled across the clearings, shouting for help. In a clump of trees I saw a rickety house on stilts. A ladder led to the platform, 10 feet from the ground. I clung to the steps, shouting. No one emerged, so I climbed up and looked in. There were five people inside: two children, their parents and their grandmother. They looked terrified. I remembered that my shirt was off, my eyes were rolling and I was trembling. I had to reassure them.

“Hello,” I said. “I’m George.” I stepped forward to shake hands with the man, hit my head on the lintel and fell on top of his wife. She screamed. The children began to cry. I picked myself up, babbling apologies. I had to win their trust. I spoke slowly. “It’s very important you understand me. I have just been attacked by hundreds of insects.” The man’s mouth fell open; he didn’t seem to believe what I said. “A swarm of insects. They came out of a tree and started flying round my head. Then eight of them bit me.”

But instead of serangga – which means insects – in my panic I said semangka; or watermelons. The grandmother backed away from me, shaking her head and feeling for the back door. The children began to scream more loudly.

I sat down beside the man and tried to explain it carefully. “I need help. I was walking in your field when I was attacked by watermelons. Eight of them bit me, eight watermelons.”

He stared at me, unable to move, his eyes becoming bigger and rounder as I nodded assurances at him. “Look –” I began again. The young woman was whimpering with terror.

Then her husband suddenly smiled. “Ahh, serangga!” He stood up. “You stay there, I have some medicine for you.”

I was going to be saved! These people lived with the hornets, didn’t they? They must have an antidote, refined over millennia from forest herbs. The man told me to lie on my front. He began to rub something into my back. It felt warm and soothing, and the pain began to ebb. The smell of the medicine was strangely familiar.

I turned my head and saw in his hand a jar of Vicks VapoRub. “No, no! I’m going to die!” I cried. I ran from the room, forgetting that it was 10 feet from the ground. I crashed into the undergrowth, picked myself up and fled. A backward glance revealed the man in his doorway, holding a small jar in one hand, my shirt in the other, staring after me.
Just before I reached the town, the convulsions began. I felt as if I were being picked up by the shoulders and shaken. I began to drool. I stumbled along the streets, shuddering and sobbing, holding on to buildings to stay upright as my legs began to buckle. I fell through the door of the hotel and into our room, where Adrian was sitting on his bed, reading.

He started up. “God you look awful.” I tried to speak, but my mouth didn’t seem to work. I fell face down on to my bed, shivering violently. He must have noticed the welts on my back, because he forced a couple of antihistamines down me. The fit began to subside, and I blacked out almost immediately.

I was gone for 12 hours, and when I woke I felt cleaned out, bereft, as if I had just suffered some great loss. It took me a while to realise that all I had left behind was my shirt.

China and PNG sign deal for giant industrial park

14 December 2016

China has agreed to spend nearly $US4 billion to build a giant industrial park in Papua New Guinea.


PNG’s Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch said investors from Shenzhen had signed a memorandum of understanding to build a series of processing and manufacturing plants at two industrial parks in West Sepik province.

The plans involve large-scale processing of timber products, fisheries, cassava and tropical spices at one park.

An adjacent park will tailor to Shenzhen-based companies that want to produce steel, cement and other industrial products.

The projects are to be developed in phases at a final cost of $US3.8 billion.

A spokesman for the treasurer says the government hoped to see construction starting next year, but the plans at this stage were “very long term.”

Metallurgical Corporation of China, which built a $US2 billion nickel mine in Papua New Guinea in 2012, is expected to be the main construction contractor.

The spokesman said the projects were a part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, even though the initiative is aimed at connecting Asia to Europe and Africa via a 21st century version of the ancient Silk Road east-west trade route that didn’t include the South Pacific.

Another agreement between Papua New Guinea and business interests from Fujian Province, which is also looking at major investments, including the idea of starting a “furniture city” in the country, is close to being signed, the spokesman added.

Students taught about UN goals

UNITED Nations representatives in the country have been educating students in Port Moresby about its sustainable development goals “to improve lives of PNG people”.
They reached more than 1200 students from Grade One to Grade 12 last month and this month, according to resident coordinator Roy Trivedy.
He said the programme was called “UN4U” and aimed to bring the work of the UN and development issues to schools to build students’ knowledge and expose them to global perspectives.

“This year, the sessions with students focused on the 17 sustainable development goals, a set of global milestones to which the Government of PNG is a signatory,” he said.
“The goals are directly interlinked to lives of PNG people and improving them over a 15-year period.
“Everyone needs to understand the sustainable development goals, how their attainment will improve people’s lives and what it will take to achieve these goals.”
Trivedy said meeting students and discussing the important global and national issues with them was inspiring. “The sustainable development goals aim to leave no one behind. So each of us has a role to play, including students and youth,” he said.
“Education is a powerful tool to build and transform a country through the power of knowledge.”
Schools that participated in the programme included Paradise Private Secondary School, Port Moresby International School, Hohola Demonstration School, Ted Diro Primary School, St Francis Community School and St Theresa Primary School.