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Polye promises ENB autonomy, tourism, K500 million boost for agriculture

Tourism, agriculture and provincial autonomy are high on Triumph Heritage Empowerment (THE) party's agenda for East New Britain if it forms the next government after the election.

Endorsing his candidates and launching their election campaign in Kokopo today (Saturday), Opposition Leader Don Pomb Polye said other areas he would invest in were fisheries and land mobilisation amongst others.

Sir Sinai Brown is contesting the East New Britain Regional seat; Bruno Tailam is contesting Kokopo Open whilst Pius Mano for Pomio Open.

He added that he would review the laws governing the land as they were not structured to favor the indegenous people, saying thus, it would make way for everyone to have full ownership over their land.

"When we want to develop tourism in the province, we will partner with landowners. They must provide their land as an equity to developers. Such an arrangement will make them to be millionaires and not spectators in their own land like always," he said.

Several roadshows for tourism, he said, will be made overseas to market the province as a tourism destination in the country.

Polye said he would budget K200 million each for copra and cocoa whilst K50 million each for their stabilisation funds.

He further said these projects would qualify the province to gain its autonomy.

Roles and functions of revenue collection or business, he said, would be decentralised whilst adminstrative powers of Ombudsman Commission and others would remain with the National government.

He stated that his critics might wander where would he source these funds from amidst the cash-flow crisis.

"I will sell off our 10.1 per cent shares in the Oil Search Limited at K1.5 billion to untie proceeds from the LNG project, which are currently servicing the K3 billion UBS loan.

"I will save about K3 billion from the rationalization of public service machinery. The Departments of Personnel Management, Mining and Petroleum, Planning and Community Development will be abolished...," he said.

K4.5 billion, he said, will be just enough to implement these policies.

He said other provinces which were ready for autonomy were Eastern Highlands, Western, Milne Bay and West New Britain, adding a strict criteria will be used to decide their preparedness for it.
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