Headlines

PNG’s APEC Venue on Track for Early Completion

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , , ,


PNG’s Star Mountain Plaza, which will host leaders from around the world at the APEC forum, is expected to open ahead of its planned schedule according to developers.

The landmark Star Mountain Plaza conference, accommodation and retail development is a multi-use facility, designed to help PNG attract more overseas visitors in future generations.

Mineral Resource Development Companies (MRDC) managing director Augustine Mano says construction on the venue is now expected to be completed in September - two months prior to the start of APEC.

Mr Mano says the project is on schedule due to the efforts of more than 800 team members who have worked in shifts 24 hours a day to ensure its early completion.

This workforce is expected to increase by a further 200 over the next six weeks as the interior fit out progresses.

“It has been truly humbling to see the passion and national pride that our local workforce has brought to this project. Their dedication has helped us bring to a life a project which will showcase the best of PNG to the world’s leaders later this year,” he says

Mr Mano made the comments during an onsite event with local press and stakeholders who also had the opportunity to tour the venue and hear about the handover of the first phase of construction - the hotel and convention centre.

“Our project will be delivered in multiple phases enabling Hilton to gradually assume control, It is with great pleasure that we can officially handover the the first area of the new five star hotel and Kutubu convention centre to Hilton.

“Over the coming weeks, more areas of the development will be handed over in the lead up to the final construction completion date on 13 September 2018,” he says.

Mr Mano says in addition to the conference venue the introduction of the Hilton Hotel brand to the PNG market marks a coming of age for the nation.

“The opening of the 212 room Hilton Port Moresby will have wide ranging and long term benefits for the country.

“The first guests will be welcomed at the hotel soon after the construction is completed,” he says.

Data from independent reports project the Star Mountain Plaza development to bring in more than $235 million Kina in tourism revenue and other economic benefits over a 20 year horizon.

“We are creating a legacy asset for future generations of Papua New Guineans. Along with the economic benefits of building the convention centre itself, we have also had the chance to train the local workforce in a wide variety of trades - something that will benefit the community for years to come,” he says.

Mr Mano says the development has overcome a shortage of skilled local labour by introducing onsite training programmes for its workers and has set a new benchmark for workplace health and safety standards.

“This has been a model construction site guideline by international standards. We wanted to demonstrate how projects should be run and wanted to ensure that Star Mountain Plaza was not only known for its economic benefits to the country, but also its social contribution,” he says.

Workers employed by the company have had free access to healthcare which included vision testing and free glasses for themselves and family members.

“Our hospital screening programme identified almost half of our workers needed prescription lenses for previously undiagnosed vision conditions. By providing them with free glasses we have helped provide a safer workplace environment for them and their colleagues,” he says.

Other workplace benefits included the provision of three catered meals daily, unlimited bottled water and the supply of electrolyte supplements to prevent dehydration. Staff were also offered immediate access to private hospital care paid for by the company.

The completed project will feature over 5600m² of planting, 566m² of artificial turf, water features and hard landscaping more than 12,000 examples of PNG’s flora, planted in one of the one of the nation’s largest ever landscaping projects of its kind.

Mr Mano says it aims to showcase the nation’s rich natural flora in the middle of Port Moresby to world leaders, business leaders and other international visitors for years to come.

-ENDS-

Pacific Nations teams push for more home Tests

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Players from Pacific Island nations have called for end of season Test matches to be played in their home countries as part of the code's plans for international expansion ahead of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

The success of last year's tournament across Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand has opened the door for international games to be showcased in a similar way to the NRL taking clashes to regional areas in Australia throughout 2018.

The annual mid-season Pacific Tests, which have been played since 2013, have been based in Sydney's west for the last five years – an agreement that will continue next season.

But with the mid-year Denver Test match featuring New Zealand and England kicking off on Sunday, the clash could kick off a new era for international scheduling and locations.

All four Pacific nations teams attended a Pacific Test gala day in Campbelltown on Wednesday and backed the possible expansion of the game involving playing hosts.

Tongan forward Jason Taumalolo told NRL.com it was only a matter of time before the powerhouse second-tier nation hosted an international fixture.

The World Cup squad travelled back to Tonga following the tournament and were overwhelmed by the support.

"That's one of many things we're trying to achieve is to get a game over there," Taumalolo said.

"There are a lot of Tongan fans in Australia and New Zealand so playing a game back there would only grow the game.

"There wouldn't be a spare seat in the house if it were to happen."

Samoa is in a similar boat to their Tongan rivals but were able to last hosted a game in Apia during the Four Nations tournament in 2016, which coincided with their 30th rugby league anniversary celebrations.

"It was unreal," Samoan prop Sam Kasiano said, after being part of the side that loss to Fiji 20-18.

"I think I scored a try that game. It was just awesome to be able to play in front of our people who live in our country. I think it's time to do it again, we love it wherever we play but being at home is something special."

The Fijian side hosted Australia in a warm-up last year leading into the World Cup, while Papua New Guinea play host to the Prime Ministers XIII annually and co-hosted last year's tournament in spectacular fashion.

"Playing back in PNG, there is nothing better than pulling on a Kumuls jersey," PNG fullback Justin Olam told NRL.com.

"It's the best feeling in the world. We got to do it at the World Cup and the crowd was always packed, people couldn't get in. My family wanted more tickets. It doesn't matter who we play.

"I hope the next time is not when we play in the World Cup again but this year or next year," he said....

SOURCE: NRL/PACNEWS

Vanuatu PM to visit Australia

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbul has announced that Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, will visit Australia from 23 to 29 June.

“Australia enjoys a close relationship with Vanuatu, with our two nations sharing strong economic, security and people to people links.

The visit will provide an opportunity for Australia and Vanuatu to enhance our strategic partnership and deepen our economic and security cooperation,” he said.

Discussions will focus on opportunities to increase bilateral trade and investment. In line with existing areas of cooperation, leaders will also discuss bilateral cooperation on labour mobility, policing and cyber security.

The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss shared regional challenges, such as climate change and transnational crime.

“We are committed to stepping up our engagement in the Pacific in support of a stable and prosperous region. As Vanuatu’s largest bilateral aid donor, we invest approximately $69 million in development assistance annually.

Our cooperation focuses on supporting economic governance, infrastructure, education health, law and justice,” Turnbull said in a statement.

Prime Minister Salwai will be accompanied by Marie-Justine Salwai and will travel to Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane as part of the visit.

SOURCE: PACNEWS

Indonesia slams UN Human Rights office over planned Papua visit

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in

Indonesia has criticised the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, saying that his regional office in Bangkok should first coordinate with the government before sending a mission to Papua, instead of demanding immediate access.

"It is deeply regrettable that the staff members of his regional office in Bangkok, instead of coordinating the planned visit with Indonesian authorities, have unilaterally set the dates and areas to visit in Papua and West Papua, while demanding immediate access,” Hasan Kleib, Indonesia's permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement, delivered during a general debate session at the United Nations in Geneva, came in response to a remark by UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who said the government's invitation to his office to visit Indonesia's easternmost provinces had not yet materialised.

“In Indonesia, I am concerned that despite positive engagement by the authorities in many respects, the government's invitation to my office to visit Papua – which was made during my visit in February – has still not been honoured,” Zeid said during the 38th session of the Human Rights Council on Monday.
During his three-day visit to Indonesia in February, Zeid expressed concern over the excessive use of force by Indonesian security forces, harassment, arbitrary arrests and detentions in Papua. He was in the country at the time to meet with government officials, who invited his office to visit the country's poorest region.

According to Hasan, the UN human rights chief informed the Indonesian government that his regional office in Bangkok would represent him on the visit.

In a follow-up, Hasan said staff of the regional office “misleadingly acted” as if a mutually agreed schedule was already in place for the visit, but that the Indonesian government had yet to grant them access. He added that this conduct was deplorable.

Hasan said Indonesia is still committed to invite Zeid or his office to visit Papua but asserted that the regional office in Bangkok must respect the principles of consent by the host government in the future.

For years, political grievances and an active independence movement in Papua have generated headlines, in spite of the government's focus on economic development to improve the situation.

In a report published in November last year, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said Papua has suffered human rights violations in the past, while there are ongoing issues of torture, excessive use of force, lack of accountability and restrictions on civil liberties.

SOURCE: THE JAKARTA GLOBE/PACNEWS

Papua New Guinea Receives Full Ceremonial Honours in China

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,



The Papua New Guinea Government and Business delegation, headed by the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, was accorded full ceremonial honours by the Government of China on their arrival in Beijing overnight.

Prime Minister O’Neill, Mrs Lynda Babao-O’Neill, senior Government Ministers and Members of Parliament, together with a delegation of senior business representatives, now begin a series of engagements that includes bilateral meetings with the Premier and President of China, and current and potential Chinese investors.

“Papua New Guinea must reach out and engage with our foreign partners so we can increase trade, stimulate business and create new jobs,” the Prime Minister said.

“China is now the second largest economy in the world and has enormous market potential for our exports.

“This includes exports of oil and gas, but now that we are broadening our own economic base in areas such as agriculture and tourism, we can attract future business from China.

“This is important for current economic growth, and even more important, the economy opportunities we are creating for our children and future generations.”

Sir Mekere slams O'Neill's China junket

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Member for Moresby Northwest Sir Mekere Morauta has criticised Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and delegation who traveled to China yesterday.

“Look at the members of the delegation. Is the Prime Minister going to China to sell off our petroleum, gas, fisheries and forestry resources, Ok Tedi, and Bank South Pacific?

“It has been reported that the trip will cost almost K7 million – at a time when hospitals and health centres are short of medicine; schools, even in Port Moresby, are closing; small businesses are waiting to be paid their bills by the government and retired public servants are waiting for their superannuation entitlements, some dying before their entitlements have been paid.

“The trip also comes at a time when the Prime Minister’s own province and Hela are in turmoil.

“For the first time in the nation’s history an aeroplane has been hijacked and burned, and civil unrest continues,” he said.

Sir Mekere said Mr O’Neill should take personal responsibility for the chaos in the Southern Highlands, which stems from the chaos of last year’s national election.

“Put the ongoing landowner issues stemming from his government not paying monies due from the LNG project, the government’s refusal to deal with the proliferation of weapons throughout the country, and the recent earthquake on top of the election issues and you have a situation packed with dynamite.

“Instead of facing the problems in his own backyard and dealing with the causes of the problems, the Prime Minister runs to China on the biggest begging trip ever – 93 people in the delegation, including 50 Chinese, according to the official list.

What on earth are they all going for? To negotiate our becoming a colony of China? Is PM leading a delegation of Papua New Guineans or a delegation of Chinese?,” he said.

Morauta’s Fake News an Attempt to Mislead Public Debate : O'Neill

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill  has condemned more fake news from the Member for Moresby North West, and former Prime Minister, Sir Mekere Morauta.

PM O’Neill said there are standards of public conduct that are expected of former Prime Ministers, and the Moresby North West Member is failing.

“The people of this Nation are tiring of the undignified behaviour of the former PM, and again on social media he is ignoring fact and posting fake news,” the Prime Minister said.

“He has lied about infrastructure projects, lied about Papua New Guinea’s engagement with China, and totally ignored the failed response by his government to law and order issues.

“Is Mourata the same person responsible for death of four students under his administration? Yes, he is.

“He did not resign when four students were killed when he was Prime Minister, so what is he talking about now after property was destroyed in Mendi.

“This is a hypocritical and self-serving person who is living in the past and has never cared for the Nation, just his own self-interest.

“When it comes to current law and order issues, he has no solutions, just political rhetoric.”

The Prime Minister said on the issue of infrastructure development and engagement with China, Morauta’s fake news and failure to recognise the previous Government’s international engagement are embarrassing for the former PM.

“He simply ignores that when he was PM, Morauta supported greater foreign investment and partner support for funding the development program. “So why has he changed his tune and would see our Nation ignore investment and development opportunities with the second largest economy in the world? The simple answer is self-serving political grandstanding.

“He attacks what he calls the tearing up good roads, but this is fake news as he fully well knows, the rehabilitation of the Poreporena freeway is long overdue as it is potholed, cracking and unsafe. “What he fails to admit is that the Poreporena Freeway rehabilitation is a gift of the Government of China at no cost to Papua New Guinea.

“Morata makes false claims that the upcoming Official Visit to China will cost 7 million Kina, and this is an absolute lie. “The private sector is paying its own way to China on the charter, and this is covering most of the cost of the official delegation’s travel.

“The cost to state will be in the order of a few hundred thousand Kina, and with the investment of hundreds of millions of Kina coming from our engagement with China – this is money well spent. “Papua New Guinea is part of the global community and he knows that we cannot live in isolation.

“It is important that we continue to engage with China and we are fortunate that China recognises us, and the role we play in the international community and the Pacific.

“It is sad that people like Mekere continue to try and distract the public from genuine government efforts for improving the livelihoods of our people. “Mekere had the opportunity, as PM nearly two decades ago, to address problems, and he left behind several lingering and long-term issues that we face today. “It would be a more dignified for him to contribute to public debate, not try and distract it with fake new and self-interest.”

O'Neill calls on people in Southern Highlands to respect the law

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

“There is no excuse for a few individuals acting in way that is a national disgrace"
The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has demonstrated the importance of meeting a challenge head-on when he visited Mendi, in Southern Highlands Province today.

After several days of unrest in Mendi town, followed by the Prime Minister working with parties to restore calm, it was important that he speak directly with the people.

The Prime Minister called on all people in the Southern Highlands Province to show respect for the law.

“There is no excuse for a few individuals acting in way that is a national disgrace.
“We cannot change what happened, but we can all take charge of the future.

“The State of Emergency Controller has been appointed, and he is taking control and will enforce law and order in the Province.”

PM O’Neill said the people of the Southern Highlands have raised concerns with him and these will be properly followed up.

“I have listened to the concerns relating the Electoral Commissioner in regards to the conduct of the election for the Southern Highlands Regional seat.

“Leaders have given me their views and I will see to it that these claims are properly heard.”

The crowd of around 5,000 was calm and relatively relaxed considering the past week’s tension, and all the leaders who spoke welcomed the presence of the Prime Minister.

Adex Wera out, Olam to fullback for PNG Kumuls match against Fiji Bati

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,



“Adex was suspended by the QRL Judiciary for two matches. That means he will miss this weekend’s Pacific Test and the next SP Hunters game,
The PNG LNG Kumuls preparation for this Saturday’s Pacific Test against Fiji Batis was dealt another blow today when fullback Adex Wera was suspended by the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) judiciary for two matches. This follows the withdrawal of Nene McDonald by the St George Illawarra Dragons medical team for a shoulder injury.

PNG LNG Kumuls Coach Michael Marum said from Campbelltown this afternoon that Wera was cited for a biting charge in last Friday’s ISC game against Ipswich Jets and will sit out the next two games.

“Adex was suspended by the QRL Judiciary for two matches. That means he will miss this weekend’s Pacific Test and the next SP Hunters game,” Marum said.
He said Wera will return to Port Moresby tomorrow. “It’s too late in the week now to get a replacement for Adex to join the camp,” Marum said.

Marum has named Justin Olam at fullback with Junior Rau to debut as Kumul No. 285 on the wing. Rhadley Brawa becomes Kumul No. 286 when he runs on off the bench.

The team is:

1. Justin OLAM

2. Junior RAU

3. Thompson TETEH

4. Willie MINOGA

5. Richard PANDIA

6. Lachlan LAM

7. Watson BOAS

8. Stanton ALBERT

9. James SEGEYARO - Captain

10. Luke PAGE

11. Rhyse MARTIN

12. Nixon PUTT

13. Rod GRIFFIN

Interchange

14. Kurt BAPTISTE

15. Rhadley BRAWA

16. Enock MAKI

17. Ase BOAS

Coach: Michael MARUM

The game against Fiji kicks off at 4pm at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday. This will be followed by Tonga vs Samoa at 7pm.

PNG Prime Minister O'Neill "Hunter and Gatherer"

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

The Member for Moresby North-West, Sir Mekere Morauta, said today that the Prime Minister’s mismanagement of the economy and public finances has turned Papua New Guinea into a state of “hunting and gathering”, living daily from hand to mouth.

“The Prime Minister is now begging and selling the country into China’s lap,” he said. “This week’s visit to China is a glaring example of begging. And begging not for the good of the nation, but for projects for his own glorification – like tearing up good roads in Port Moresby for the Chinese and his friends to rebuild, just for APEC motorcades to ride on for one day.”

“Look at the members of the delegation. Is the Prime Minister going to China to sell off our petroleum, gas, fisheries and forestry resources, Ok Tedi, and Bank South Pacific?”
It has been reported that the trip will cost almost 7 million Kina – at a time when hospitals and health centres are short of medicine; schools, even in Port Moresby, are closing; small Papua New Guinean businesses are waiting to be paid their bills by the Government; and retired public servants are waiting for their superannuation entitlements, some dying before their entitlements have been paid.

This Prime Minister has no sense of responsibility or fairness.

The trip also comes at a time when the Prime Minister’s own province, and Hela, are in turmoil. For the first time in the nation’s history an aeroplane has been highjacked and burned, and civil unrest continues. The Prime Minister is happy to send soldiers and policemen to face his people who are up in arms, yet he runs away.

As a respected Papua New Guinean academic aptly commented: “People in plight; Leaders on flight!”

Sir Mekere said Mr O’Neill should take personal responsibility for the chaos in the Southern Highlands, which stems from the chaos of last year’s national election.

“The anomalies in voting and counting in all the seats in his province are the underlying cause of the current problem,” he said.
“Put the ongoing landowner issues stemming from his government not paying monies due from the LNG project, his government’s refusal to deal with the proliferation of weapons throughout the country, and the recent earthquake on top of the election issues, and you have a situation packed with dynamite.

“The Prime Minister inflamed the situation in the province by announcing he had suspended the provincial government. He announced he had appointed an Acting Administrator and that he would ‘personally’ oversee the operations of the suspended Government on behalf of the National Executive Council. He has now woken up to the fact that neither he nor NEC has the power to suspend the provincial government and is blaming the media for misreporting him.

“But the media reports came from an official statement from his own office. Why blame the media? Take responsibility for mismanaging the problem and your province yourself, PM.
“Instead of facing the problems in his own backyard and dealing with the causes of the problems, the Prime Minister runs to China on the biggest begging trip ever – 93 people in the delegation, including 50 Chinese, according to the official list. What on earth are they all going for? To negotiate our becoming a colony of China? Is PM leading a delegation of Papua New Guineans or a delegation of Chinese?

“We have signs of Chinese domination already, in the conduct of public finance and structure of the economy, and with Chinese doing the jobs of Papua New Guineans, driving trucks, bulldozers, tractors, sweeping roads, opening tradestores in every corner of the country. What is next?”

Sir Mekere said Papua New Guinea is rich in natural resources. “Our problem is that we seem to be unable to manage prosperity, or to distribute the real benefits equitably amongst people and regions,” he said. “Our problem is the Prime Minister. The longer he stays the further he undermines the inherent strength that the natural resources provide.

“I urge all the Members of Parliament in Government to think about the nation and the people – and eventually themselves and their children. The Opposition’s message that the Prime Minister must resign is one hundred percent the answer.”

Advertisement

Subscribe to Daily News

Enter your email address:

Delivered by PNG Today

© 2017 PNG Today . Powered by Blogger.