PNG government accused of neglecting welfare of people for APEC

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Social breakdown could come to a head in Papua New Guinea after it hosts APEC, an opposition MP says.

PNG is preparing to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit in November.

The government said the summit wwould present a remarkable marketing opportunity for PNG as an investment destination and a trade partner.

But the Madang Open MP, Bryan Kramer, accused the government of borrowing beyond its means to spend on infrastructure projects in Port Moresby while neglecting basic services around the country.

“The reality is hospitals are running out of medicines. We've now got a polio outbreak. So it seems we're not focussing on our priorities and that is the welfare of the people,” Kramer said.

“If we continue to focus on infrastructure at the expense of people's welfare, then society as we know it will start to collapse and breakdown.”

However, the Governor of PNG's National Capital Disrtict, Powes Parkop, said hosting APEC was a positive move for the country.

Through economic opportunities, which the government claims APEC will open up for PNG, Parkop believed Papua New Guineans could have more self-respect and belief in themselves.

“I think it's absolutely good for Port Moresby but also for Papua New Guinea. It gives us hope for the future because I think for a long time in PNG we came to a dead end, that people thought that this was the end of it. Nothing was going right,” Parkop said.

Creating more economic opportunity was a way to grow PNG's middle class, the governor said.

However,Kramer said that spending beyond its means to host a big event had not helped PNG in the recent past, and with something as huge as APEC, he doubted it could be different.

“The PNG (hosting of the Pacific) Games never delivered much. We spent a billion kina on that. There were other major events: the World Under 20 soccer tournament, we spent a few hundred million on that. Again, it delivered very little,” Kramer said.

“All these roads being built are buried in debt to the Chinese. They're delivering out these projects. They're all attached to loans that we have to pay off, and so most of these contracts are questionable by being inflated.

“These are the issues that we're going to have to face post-APEC, and it's not going to be easy,” he said..


Cracking down on Corruption gets Bougainville Referendum ready

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , , ,

The Autonomous Bougainville Government has sent its strongest message yet that it is cracking down on corruption as part of getting referendum ready.
Chief Secretary Joseph Nobetau, in his six-month update to the people this week said corruption must stop now.
“Four more Department Heads have been petitioned for allegations of serious misconduct, matters that are now subject to Independent Boards of Inquiry established under the Bougainville Senior Appointments Act,” Mr Nobetau said.
“Corruption is not only against the law. It is stealing from Bougainville – it is selling out on our dream, our future, and the idea that we are destined for a higher level of behaviour.”
The Chief Secretary said one of the biggest issues faced this year has been the uncovering of mass payroll fraud.
“An independent audit by the National Departments of Personnel Management and Finance has now revealed our worst fears,” Mr Nobetau said.
“Bougainvillean public servants have been stealing from government and selling out Bougainville over many years – claiming allowances they were not entitled to, paying salaries well in excess of their classification level, paying themselves and not turning up for work.”
Mr Nobetau said the administration was standing shoulder to shoulder with the Minister for Public Service, who said the fraud was nothing short of theft.
With just nine months until Bougainville’s target referendum date and the need to demonstrate good governance to the international community, the Chief Secretary has made an impassioned plea to fellow public servants, politicians and the people.
“I am committed to ensuring that the fraud squad investigates these matters and that where criminality is found, that individuals be held to account. Nobody is above the law. Nobody has the right to take what is not rightfully theirs. And nobody has to right to steal from law abiding Bougainvilleans. To do so brings shame to the person, to their family and Bougainville as whole.”
“I want to assure tax payers and proud Bougainvilleans that those responsible for this fraud will be held to account and that we will do better.”
“Changes had already been made to ensure the payroll fraud never happens again.”
“The good news is that our eyes are not closed and we will not look the other way. The majority are better than that, the majority want a brighter future for Bougainville.”
“I expect that in time both disciplinary and criminal charges will be made.”
The Chief Secretary said since removing ‘ghosts’ from the payroll had given the government more money for public services like clinics, schools and roads.
Mr Nobetau said changing attitudes and mindsets as part of government reform was not easy, but was Bougainville’s aspirations under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.
“We are on a united but difficult mission to move Bougainville from a provincial government to an autonomous government to preparing for Bougainville’s future political status.”
“We cannot do that while public servants are busy lining their pockets with public money.”
President Momis said he fully supported the Chief Secretary and that under the Organic Law on Leadership he was obligated to report all possible breaches.
“The Chief Secretary has my support to continue to liaise with the Ombudsman Commission to ensure the highest standards of good governance under the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” Mr Momis said.

 New Dawn FM News

‘Future Proof Your Home With Rhodes’

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Rhodes is well known for its quality affordable homes that last a lifetime.  However, what is less well known is how Rhodes’ help PNG families ‘future proof’ their homes.  Combined with outstanding customer service it is little wonder that Rhodes are steadily growing their market share in PNG’s home buying market.
So what is ‘future proofing’?  Future proofing homes is all about designing and building homes in such a way that they suit families’ needs now and in the future, no matter what changes come along over the years.  Future proofing your home helps avoid unnecessary disappointment and expense in the long term.
“Future proofing homes requires the use of high quality and durable materials in combination with designing homes with the future needs of our customers first and foremost in mind” says Business Development Manager, Dave Mackenzie.  “Importantly we make sure that we build with only the very best Australian Standard materials, including top-grade galvanised steel framing, to guarantee that our homes last and maintenance requirements are kept to the bare minimum.  However, unlike other kit home companies we also design homes so that they can easily be added on to or extended to suit families’ changing requirements.”  These ‘add-ons’ include such things as additional bedrooms, bathrooms, verandas, staircases, and enclosing downstairs areas.
Future proofing your home is particularly important in PNG given the shortage of available freehold land and the considerable expenses associated with selling and buying property.  “Many people are keen just to get in to the property market and will be happy with a fairly simple 2 bedroom home to start with” explains Rhodes Project Manager Geno Ulu.  “But when a few extra kids come along and you want to spread out a bit more it’s good to know that you don’t have to sell up and move elsewhere.  Instead you know that your Rhodes home has been designed to make it as simple and as cost effective as possible to add another bedroom or veranda or to build in down below.”
Rhodes is perfectly suited to providing customers with the best future proofing solutions as it is a truly vertically integrated construction company. That is, Rhodes designs homes, manufactures the prefabricated (kit) components, delivers the flat-packed kit homes to wherever families want to build, and if desired, also constructs the homes utilising their own construction team.  “Our builders understand our product and how everything slots together perfectly so it’s very easy for them to not only build someone’s home in the first place but to come back to the same home five or ten years later to build a quality and affordable extension” says Mackenzie.
Rhodes is the only kit home specialist with its own in-house construction team and Mackenzie cites this as a key contributor to the high level of customer service Rhodes’ customers enjoy.  “Having our own in-house construction capabilities means that any problems can be easily and quickly fixed.  If you choose a kit home from another provider there is always the risk of the provider and the builder arguing over who is to blame for any mistakes and that can leave the customer with a stressful and often expensive problem.”  Ulu agrees, “for too long home buyers in PNG have had to put up with really bad customer service from the construction industry.  Fortunately, today’s families wanting to buy their own home have more choice and companies like Rhodes are leading the way with a very public commitment to put their customers first and provide them with the best possible service.”
Future proofing plus great customer service – what more could you want?  For more information on Rhodes homes contact them on 7263 7860, www.rhodesprojects.com. 

Corruption is PM O'Neill's Greatest Failure says ACT NOW!

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Media Release, 14 August, 2018

It is six years since Prime Minister Peter O’Neill promised the country an Independent Commission Against Corruption. Yet that vision is no closer to being realised today than it was in 2012, says Community Advocacy group ACT NOW!

“Peter O’Neill has totally failed to live up to his promises in both the 2012 and 2017 Alotau Accords that the government would establish an ICAC”, says Campaign Coordinator Eddie Tanago.

“The impact of not having a dedicated anti-corruption agency that is politically independent, fully resourced and that has full powers of arrest and prosecution has been devastating for our economic well-being and the quality of life for ordinary people”.

Delegates at last weeks APEC Anti-Corruption and Transparency workshop repeatedly spoke about how corruption inhibits development and is a serious threat to economic growth [1] yet PNG had almost nothing to show in terms of progress under the United Nations Convention on Corruption [2]

“In PNG we repeatedly hear that a large-proportion of the national budget is lost every year to corruption, taking money directly from health and education services", says Mr Tanago.

“We also hear about the high costs that businesses have to endure as a result of corruption, which act to reduce profits, lower employment and limit investment. Yet the government has just dragged its feet for year after year over an ICAC.”

ACT NOW! says that while together, PNG, Australia and China are spending more than K1.1 billion [3] on the whole APEC extravaganza, a tiny proportion of that money would have been sufficient to fund the operations of a robust, independent and well staffed ICAC for more than a decade.

“Ridding PNG of the scourge of corruption would do far more to assist development in PNG and ensure the well-being of our citizens than a huge party for the world’s leaders and their entourages”, says Mr Tanago.

“We hope that in November, when the leaders from the world’s two biggest economies will be here in PNG, they will ask the Prime Minister why he has not established an ICAC and whose interests he is protecting.”

Professional Pilot training creates oppportunities for Young Papua New Guineans

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Several students from various secondary schools in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have successfully been enrolled this year in pilot school overseas.

Roselyn Banrogo, Marketing Manager and PNG Representative for Professional Pilot Training (PPT) in New South Wales, Australia, stated that there were initially a total of nine pilot students who enrolled with the school – five of which were from various secondary schools in Port Moresby (POM).

“We usually have non-school leavers who apply for our pilot training school but this year, we’ve had two students from Port Moresby International School, two from Paradise International School, and one from Gerehu Secondary School,” said Ms Banrogo.

”These students are only proof of how successful the annual career exhibitions have been.”
Ms Banrogo stated that PPT did not have a required Grade Point Average (GPA) for its students, however they only needed to be exceptional in Advanced Mathematics and Physics.

“We don’t look at the GPA but we look at how good they are in Maths A, Physics and especially English because that is the language that they will use when communicating in the cockpit.”

Meanwhile, Ms Banrogo added that disabilities such as eyesight problems were not an issue for students who wished to undertake pilot training at PPT.

“If students are short-sighted, they will be referred to an eye doctor; but prior to training, they will sit for electronic aptitude tests which will determine their aptitudes to fly,” she said.

“We actually have had some students who were short-sighted but it wasn’t a problem, as long as they had their glasses on.”

PPT has been operating for the past 12 years in Coffs Habour, New South Wales, Australia and is fully engaged with the Air Niugini Pilot Training

The school is open to both school leavers and non-school leavers below the ages of 35 to 40. ...read more on >> PNG Education News site


New partnership to help grow agriculture potential in PNG's Hela region

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A public private partnership with the goal of developing a large scale commercial agricultural venture in the Hela Province was announced today.

The agricultural project partners include the PNG LNG Project, agribusiness firm Innovative Agro Industry, MRDC, Hela Provincial Government and Tari-Pori, Koroba-Kopiago and Komo Margarima local level governments.

The proposed venture – led by Innovative Agro Industry – will train and equip small-holder farmers to first produce stock feed and vegetables in Hela Province and, over time, endeavour to rejuvenate the local coffee industry. Innovative Agro Industry has successfully demonstrated its ability to design and implement self-sustaining commercial agricultural ventures l across Papua New Guinea.

The unique public private partnership has been formed through the efforts of ExxonMobil PNG, operator of PNG LNG, and Innovative Agro Industry over the last year to help create a sustainable pathway to commercially scale the agricultural industry in Hela province.

Innovative Agro Industry Chairman Ilan Weiss said creating opportunities for meaningful participation for rural Papua New Guineans is a key component of many of the projects the IAI has developed throughout Papua New Guinea. "We believe that this type of engagement is key to the success of any agriculture enterprise.

Smallholder engagement strengthens communities and generates cash incomes, triggering sustainable flow on effects in terms of food security, health, education, development of locally owned small businesses, and improved basic financial literacy. It has the ability to be a catalyst for rural development."
ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry said the PNG LNG Project was committed to driving economic growth and producing significant, lasting benefits. “The agricultural project has the potential to positively impact as many as 5,000 small-holder farmers in Hela Province over the next five years and beyond as well as diversifying the economic base and encouraging the development of additional small enterprises in Hela province.”

As a first step, and as a demonstration of their commitment to Hela Province and its people, the agricultural project supporters have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly fund the detailed design phase at a cost of PGK10M. Over the course of the next few months, much work will be done to determine the full feasibility of the agricultural venture.

Activities to be undertaken in Phase 1 include a detailed field analysis of soil and growing conditions; detailed design of the farmer training program; establishment of a training centre and finalisation of all financing agreements and the commercial venture structure. The feasibility study will also include the potential use of Komo airfield as one of several logistics options to support the venture.

If Phase 1 is successful, the venture could be launched in as early as 1Q 2019.

PNG to enjoy cheaper internet by 2019

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in ,

Papua New Guinea (PNG)  will have a more reliable and cheaper cost of internet connectivity when the Kumul Domestic Submarine cable project is completed next year.

That is according to the Public Enterprise and State Investments Minister William Duma when he visited the Coral Sea Cable System Landing Site at Port Moresby’s Kila Barracks and Gerehu Satellite Earth Station, both in Port Moresby, yesterday.

State-owned enterprise under Kumul Consolidated Holding, DataCo anticipates the drop of internet pricing by 20 per cent of the current rate.

The Exim Bank of China is funding the domestic project with cost just over US$250 million (K783.45m) and main contractor Huawei PNG is progressing well with the project on site readiness and marine survey.

Mr Duma described the project as a game changer and a new technology that will revolutionise the way PNG does business when he visited the Kila Barrack site in Moresby South where the Coral Sea Cable system will connect to Port Moresby.

Mr Duma said the PNG Government led by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is committed to ensuring the people receive quality and reliable internet service at much cheaper rates, and that will be through the Coral Sea Cable project.

“While the Coral Sea Cable System will provide high speed international connectivity to Port Moresby, we would still have the challenge of connecting other parts of Papua New Guinea to Port Moresby to be able to enjoy the benefits of this cable by the majority of our people who live outside of Port Moresby.”

The project will connect all the  15 coastal provincial capitals with this modern communications medium, fibre optic submarine cable. The project is currently underway, where preparations for the site are now advancing for the Port Moresby to Madang segment (via Alotau, Popondetta and Lae).

Last month an agreement was signed between the PNG and the Australian governments for a trilateral project to provide additional capacity for high speed broadband connectivity.

Mr Duma said the Coral Sea Cable will be a state of the art cable system between Sydney, Australia and each of Port Moresby and Honiara, the Solomon Islands.

It will comprise of two pairs of fibre optic cables which travel in parallel from Sydney to a branching unit in the Coral Sea, where they will travel to both PNG and the Solomon Islands....read more on PNG Technology site : PNGeHow
  Post Courier/PNG Today

Muslims don’t run the country: Fiji AG

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Muslims don’t run the country, says Fiji's Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

His comment follows a question raised at the 2018/2019 National Budget consultation in Savusavu Monday.

He told those at the consultation that Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama was not a Muslim which proved the perception that Muslims run the nation wrong.

Savusavu resident Sheik Mohammed asked Sayed-Kaiyum whether the nation was controlled by Muslims.

“A lot of rumors going on and what I want to ask you does not sound good,” he said. “First of all people are saying that this country is ruled by a Muslim.

“And sir, a person is holding about six or seven portfolios and paid for all portfolios and I think it’s directed to you sir.

“So can I have a clarification on that because through the media we can tell the people of Fiji.”

In his response, Sayed-Kaiyum described the question as surreal.

“In regards to the place being run by Muslims, no. “The country is led by a Prime Minister and he is not a Muslim.

“And people get appointed on merit. At one stage people like (Opposition MPs) Niko Nawaikula and (Mosese) Bulitavo were saying in a video that if you vote for Bainimarama Government, iTaukei people will live on reserve land.

“Today, 91 per cent of land in Fiji is iTaukei Land and it has increased. “Today we have a Constitution that protects iTaukei and forever.” Sayed-Kaiyum added that his appointment was because his boss believed he could do the job.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Independent Commission Against corruption (FICAC) is investigating some political parties and political party agents for inciting racial discrimination and religious vilification.

Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra confirmed this and they were not in a position to name those that are being investigated.

“There are complaints with FICAC which has been reported by us and the supervisor and reports are being investigated by FICAC,” Chandra said.

“We are not in a position to name people involved, but these are all political party agents or campaigns done by political parties and themselves, but we confirm there are some cases being investigated.”

Chandra said it was imperative political parties and their representatives keep their election campaigns clean and clear from religious vilification and racial discrimination.

“We have asked FICAC to immediately investigate and finalise all the complaints in relation to elections. “FICAC has assured us that they will deal with these types of complaints expediently and take cases to court where they find there is sufficient evidence to support a charge.”

He also requested members of the public, who are present during political party meetings, to use their smartphones to record such behavior.

Chandra said political parties could consider having their own recording apparatus during their meetings to protect their interest.

“Parties must have their own disciplinary process to deal with breaches by their own representatives and parties must keep an eye on their own campaigns,” he said.

National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says political parties should not use race or religion as campaign tools.

Prof Prasad said NFP do not condone any campaign along racial and religious lines.

“We have consistently reminded all our provisional candidates to campaign on issues.

Our provisional candidates are equipped with publications of issues that we are promoting.

They have been in the public domain since July 29 last year,” he said.

Prof Prasad said no NFP provisional candidate has in 2014 elections campaign or during the current campaign, used race and religion as a campaign issue.

He urged the Electoral Commission, FICAC and especially the media, not to rely on heresay reports, but irrefutable and conclusive evidence like voice and video recordings.

“It is easy to malign provisional candidates and political parties by making wild and unsubstantiated allegations.

Failure to do so on the part of the media organisations make them guilty of colluding to fabricate such reports,” he added.

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube said it was important for people to voice their opinion when political parties conduct their pocket meetings.

Efforts to get comments from other political parties were unsuccesful.

Electoral Commission chairperson Suresh Chandra said anyone convicted of inciting religious vilification could face a fine not exceeding $50,000 (US$25,000) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or both.

He said he and the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem had lodged a complaint each with the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC).


Election petition against Maru dismissed

Posted by PNG Today | | Posted in , ,

Member for Yangoru Sausia and Minister for National Planning Richard Maru said he is a relieved man now after the court dismissed an election petition in its entirety by runner up and rival candidate Peter Wararu Waranaka this morning 

The dismissal of the petition will allow the member to carry out his mandated duty as the duly elected leader for Yangoru Sausia to bring in services and development freely.
“I am absolutely relieved today that the petition against me by the former member and my rival in two elections Peter Wararu was dismissed today by the Supreme Court,” said Mr. Maru.

The Supreme Court this morning dismissed a leave application for review which means that the case is now over and Mr. Maru’s election cannot and will not be challenged further in any court of law.

“I am free now and able to concentrate my attention on my job as National Planning Minister and also as member for Yangoru Sausia and I can focus on delivering goods and services to my people in the district and offcourse throughout the nation.” said Maru.

Lawyer representing Mr. Maru, Paul Mawa said the petition basically challenged MP Richard Maru’s return on 3 grounds including bribery, illegal practice and errors and omissions but was unsuccessful and dismissed by the National Court.

Petitioner Mr. Waranaka, aggrieved by the decision filed an application for leave in the National Court trying the challenge the decision of the National Court.

“We made an application in the Supreme Court for one reason: the applicant for review Peter Wararu did not comply with the Supreme Court rules in relation to the appeal to review and also that the grounds raised by the applicant did not raise reasonable grounds to set aside the decision of the trial judge,” Mawa said.   PNGFM/PNG Today

Korean Week Celebrated for the first time in PNG

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The occasion was celebrated to experience the Korean culture that featured the introducing and disseminating of rich Korean culture, the screening of Korean cinema “Ode to my father” an international box office hit portraying Korean sentiments, and the delicious Korean dishes.
The Korean Embassy also displayed beautiful exhibitions called the “Photos from Korea” to promote the country’s culture and for tourist attractions.

Korean Ambassador his Excellency Kymgu Kang said he was honoured to witness the meaningful occasion as it was the very first Korean Week festival.

“I’ am truly happy and delighted to be with you all at this Korea Week. This is the very first Korea week festival held in PNG and I’m honoured to witness this meaningful occasion and I believe the feeling’s mutual,” said his Excellency Kymgu Kang. 

The Republic of Korea and PNG have been working together since 1976 were they co-operated in the field of bilateral, multilateral and private sector.

The event served as a foundation cherishing the friendship between Korea and PNG.


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