Prime Minister O’Neill made the comments after opposition member, Oro Governor Gary Juffa, made false claims that the APEC budget was six hundred million Kina next year.
The Prime Minister said a very careful capacity building budget was being articulated for APEC, while at the same time strengthening engagement with partners including the Australian military and the Australian Federal Police was being undertaken.
“The budget for APEC in 2017 will be significantly less than the false 600 million Kina that the Opposition has taken out of thin air,” PM O’Neill said.
“They should not take such narrow-minded view of what APEC means to this country.
“Figures are being worked through now by our budget teams and will be further revised for the 2018 budget.”
The Prime Minister said the APEC investment in security in Papua New Guinea will make the nation safer and deliver long-term security benefits
“Half of the expenditure on APEC next year will be an investment in the military and security of our nation.
“This includes strengthening border security at arrival points not only in Port Moresby but around the country. We are increasing the capacity of our police and military to new levels that will help our people be safer in our communities.
“We also have support of our regional partners, particularly Australia, the United States and New Zealand.
“The Australian Federal Police partnership program is providing tremendous support to improving our policing capacity ahead of APEC.
“This will have lasting benefit beyond APEC as the capacity of our police is is elevated to a new level.
“We are talking with counterpart Governments to deliver security support that we do not have.
“This includes fighter jet coverage above Port Moresby during the APEC summit and Navy ships that will be moored offshore. These ships will have medical facilities, and will partner with our military for the deployment of special forces to deal with any threat.”
The Prime Minister said APEC will bring great opportunity for Papua New Guinea that is beyond promoting the nation to the international community and improving security, but will also enhance regional policy development in areas such as agriculture, marine resources, tourism and SMEs.
“As chair of the APEC Policy agenda in 2018, Papua New Guinea will be in a position to guide policy development in crucial economic sectors.
“This will empower our businesses and primary producers to have input to the development of APEC policy as this affects their sectors.
“This will create opportunity for our businesses to strengthen their capabilities and open up new export opportunities.”