Tag Archives: Political

‘Port Moresby To Be Transformed’

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY GORETHY KENNETH

Port Moresby will be transformed to world standard as months draw near for Papua New Guinea to host one of the biggest meeting ever – the 2018 APEC Summit next November.

APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko and APEC PNG director general Sir Charles Lepani said in a conference yesterday that compared to Vietnam and other economies that hosted APEC already, PNG, which is APEC-ready, has very unique infrastructure specifically the APEC House that stands out, with all preparation now two to three weeks ahead of schedule.

Mr Tkatchenko and Sir Charles said yesterday that everything is now falling in line and have assured that the Government is ready to host this meeting come November next year.

They spoke about visa arrangements, airport arrangements, security arrangements, accommodation and every other operation that are vital for the summit.

“Logistic, protocol, security and every other preparation is now under control,” Mr Tkatchenko said.

“I can give confidence to the people of Papua New Guinea that your government through our Prime Minister will be prepared APEC ready in 2018 and with all the lead-up meetings to host the very successful APEC CEO and Leaders Summit and sideline meetings throughout the country.”

 

 

No One To Remain In Lombrum, Says Kantha

 

Source: Post-Courier

 

Following the Court ruling dismissing the application by Behrous Boochani and his lawyer Ben Lomai to put on hold the decommissioning process and restore services at Manus Refugee Processing Centre, acting Chief Migration Officer Solomon Kantha has urged all refugees and failed asylum seekers to move immediately to their alternative accommodation provided at Lorengau.

Mr Kantha said that they no longer have a legal basis to remain at the decommissioned facility and reiterated the statement from the Minister for Immigration and Border Security Petrus Thomas that it was impossible to restore any services.

They must move immediately for the interest of their own safety, hygiene and health, he said.

The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority has sent provincial health inspectors into the decommissioned facility yesterday to make an assessment which they are going to likely declare the place uninhabitable for anyone to reside as there are no longer access to basic services, water and waste and garbage is piling that is posing serious risks of exposure to contagious diseases such as dysentery and cholera,” Mr Kantha said.

“The residents must move immediately as the PNGICSA and authorities is assessing the situation and may take steps to move them for the interest of all residents including staff who are within the vicinity that may also be exposed to contagious diseases as a result of wastes pilling up from residents refusing to move.

“All services including security and medical services are available at the new accommodation sites and there is no reason to remain at Lombrum.”

Australia responds to Manus asylum seekers

Source: Loop PNG

2nd November 2017

 

This was the firm stance by Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, following yesterday’s closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre.

 

 

“The Coalition Government has had a clear and consistent policy since coming to office.”

 

 

Dutton says the Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) who are refusing to leave the RPC have been aware since May this year that the PNG authorities would close the RPC on the 31st of October.

 

 

“Indeed the Government of Papua New Guinea indicated from mid-2016 that it would move to close the RPC.”

 

 

He points out that have been informed for a considerable period of time that there is safe and secure alternate accommodation where health and other services will be maintained.

 

 

“Refugees can relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre or West Lorengau Haus.

 

 

“Those who have been found not to be refugees should relocate to Hillside Haus.”

 

 

The Minister brushes aside claims of inhumane treatment of refugees whilst at the centre, stating the constant claims of IMAs and advocates about their situation in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.

 

 

“They have long claimed the Manus RPC was a ‘hellhole’ – but the moment it was to be closed, they demanded it be kept open.

 

 

“They claim to fear for their safety if they leave the RPC, but held no such fears for a long period of time as around 200 of them, each and every day, travelled to and from Lorengau township, some staying in the town for extended periods of time.”

 

 

Dutton says PNG’s processing of these IMAs has been completed and there are clear pathways ahead of them.

 

 

“Those found to be refugees can settle within Papua New Guinea as agreed under the arrangement struck between the previous Rudd Labor Government and the Government of Papua New Guinea in 2013,” states the Minister.

 

 

“The Australian Government has provided reasonable alternate pathways for those who do not wish to resettle in PNG; specifically they can apply for resettlement in the United States or apply to move to Nauru.”

 

 

He says those who have been found not to be refugees are in PNG illegally and should return to their country of origin as hundreds already have done.

 

 

“The governments of PNG and Australia will facilitate voluntary returns.

 

 

“These people sought to subvert Australia’s laws by paying people smugglers to bring them illegally to Australia by boat – none will ever resettle here.”

 

 

Meantime on Monday, PNG’s Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, stated that PNG still needs to sit with Australia to review the Regional Resettlement Agreement.

 

 

“The RRA is still current, but because of the date of the 31st we are just reviewing the RRA.

 

 

“Because the main idea of bringing the asylum seekers in was to process them, so now we’ve identified the refugees from the non-refugees, after the 31st we have to look for a way forward on how Australia will support them in the third country.”

 

 

(Immigration Minister Peter Dutton – Picture: Sky News)

Decentralisation Partnership Puts Focus On Local Priorities

 

Source: Post-Courier

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia have entered into a new arrangement that will focus on improving service delivery and economic opportunities in the nation’s provinces and districts.

 

 

 

The Partnership Arrangement for Improved Decentralisation and Service Delivery was signed at Parliament House by Kevin Isifu MP, Minister for Inter-Government Relations Richard Maru MP, Minister for National Planning and Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis.

 

 

 

The Partnership will support Papua New Guinea’s priority of improving service delivery, economic opportunities and community development, by empowering provinces and districts.

 

 

 

Under the Partnership, Australia and Papua New Guinea will work together to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s decentralised system of government and maximise development outcomes on the ground.

 

 

 

MrDavis, said Australia is committed to supporting PNG to strengthen communities and service delivery throughout the country.

 

 

 

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Government to deliver on its vision for decentralised government, to meet the needs of the nation’s people,” Mr Davis said.

 

 

 

“This partnership will support Papua New Guineans to find local solutions for local challenges. Where provinces and districts are willing to take the initiative in applying their own resources to improve service delivery and increase economic opportunities, Australia will work with them to identify how we can add value,” he added.

 

 

 

The Partnership will also engage Papua New Guineans in the development of their communities, fostering cooperation among a range of community stakeholders to address service delivery and development challenges.

 

 

 

Mr Davis said the partnership for decentralisation was the newest element of the broader, evolving, economic partnership between Australia and Papua New Guinea, founded on shared history, shared future and people-to-people links.

Women Applaud O’Neill

 

BY YOMBI KEP of Post-Courier 

Women from the Peoples National Congress (PNC) party have come out to thank the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for his concern in seriously addressing the issue of women representation in the 10th National Parliament.

 
PNC Party women who had gathered in Port Moresby, said they supported the Prime Minister in his idea of having one male governor and one female governor but elected by everyone in each province and the implication that it will have from the current parliament of 111 members of Parliament to 133.

 
“We, the party women, are proud of our party leader and prime minister, who is open-minded about women’s role in the development of Papua New Guinea,” said Kathy Tom, a member of the ruling party.

 
“PNC will create history in the world when it takes a bold step to pass law to ensure with certainty the representation of women from the provinces through the women who would be elected as Governors.”

 
The group said they understand that there is a lot of work to be done but they are ready and willing to work with the prime minister to make this a reality before the next General Election in 2022.

Kumul Holdings to account for sale of stake

By HELEN TARAWA of The National 

 
DEPUTY Prime Minister and Treasurer Charles Abel says Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited  will report on the net outcome of the government’s 10 per cent stake in Oil Search Limited that it has divested.

 
Abel told The National that KPHL was holding the debt and the shares.
The debt has been cleared and shares sold.

 
“The collar loan protected KPHL from some of the share price drops,” Abel said.
“They will calculate and report on the net outcome of the transaction.”

 
KPHL managing director Wapu Sonk said they were preparing for the PNG LNG project expansion, the Papua LNG, the power project and their own investments.

 
Responding to claims of the sale of shares as a rescue package for the government, Sonk said the government did not pay anything.

 
“This is not a rescue package because this was never on the government’s balance sheet,” Sonk said. “The government wasn’t paying anything. It was Kumul.

 
“We’re preparing for the PNG LNG project expansion, Papua LNG, the power project, our own investments going forward. So it’s got nothing to do with the PNG Government.”
KPHL on Friday announced that it had sold its shares in Oil Search Limited and had ceased to have any interest in the firm.

 
Sonk, who announced the decision in the presence of KPHL chairman Sir Moi Avei, said it would continue to be responsible for managing the State’s 16.77 per cent equity in the PNG LNG project.

 
“As a close partner of Oil Search in PNG, we look forward to continued cooperation on our numerous projects.”

 
Sonk explained that the UBS collar loan was not a normal loan.

 
The value of the parcel of shares on any day supports the loan itself which, in this case, was approximately 149 million shares.

 
A collar is a protective-options strategy that is implemented after a long position in a stock has experienced substantial gains.

 
Sir Moi said KPHL had made about K100 million (A$35 million) as a result of the transaction.

 
He said the current oil and LNG price environment and projected  long-term views indicated that oil prices would remain about the same for the next few years.

PNG, Aust sign deal for technical cooperation

Source: The National

THE Prime Minister’s Department and National Executive Council have signed an agreement with their Australian counterparts for technical cooperation and institutional partnership.

 
Chief Secretary  Isaac Lupari said the agreement would pave the way for better relationships between the two countries.

 
“The agreement will provide capacity-building for both countries’ administrative personnel and enhance existing relationships,” he said.

 
“It should also pave the way for strengthening our public service reforms in collaboration with our Australian counterparts and provide coordinated monitoring of government policies and decision-making processes.

 
“An integral part of this understanding will involve officers from the prime minister’s department and cabinets of both countries undergoing joint training and capacity-building exchanges.”

 
Lupari said the agreement recognised the importance that both governments placed on maintaining strong institutional links between the two countries.

 
He said this extended beyond the existing development links that they have.

 
“It recognises the shared role of both departments in providing quality advice to their respective governments and in supporting the coordinated development and implementation of government policies,” Lupari said.

 
He said the cooperation between the two governments would be based on mutual understanding, respect, responsibility, transparency and accountability.

 
Lupari said taking into consideration each government’s capacity and resources, improved development outcomes for both parties would be mutual in the long run.
“It also enables cooperation between other government agencies such as health and defence.”

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