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Lets Not Lose Hope but work for better Future for PNG : O'Neill

Former Papua New Guinea  prime minister Peter O’Neill says Independence Day is a time for us to reflect as a nation, to give thanks for all that we have achieved in the past 45 years, and to make plans to get national development back on track.

Mr O’Neill said Papua New Guineans live in a country of enormous potential, a place where investors can return and jobs can be restored, he said PNG is a country where the strength and courage of the people can continue to make it even better.

“Papua New Guinea is a great nation and we have already demonstrated that to ourselves and to the world.

“When we built roads, bridges and airports in recent years, our people immediately put these to good use and built businesses and created more jobs. Agricultural production grew, new transport companies expanded, small businesses got bigger and people right around the country benefited,” he said.

“When we put an additional one million children in school, families embraced this opportunity, and we were continuing to improve the quality of education.”

Mr O’Neill said as a country we brought major global events to our country that unified people through sport, and we brought the international business community to PNG and made these links stronger.

“Before we hosted APEC many people around the world did not know where Papua New Guinea was, but after we were seen in the media in every country of the world, many more doors have opened for trade and development,” he said.

“This included strengthening our supply chains to transport our goods, improving our security capacity, strengthening bio security, and many other benefits that will be experienced for generations to come.

“The most important of these being the Electrification Partnership that will deliver electricity to 70 per cent of our country, and this was negotiated and agreed by our government at APEC and we urge all stakeholders to get this program up and running.”

Mr O’Neill said there is no doubt that our country had hit a roadblock as resource projects have failed, mines closed for political reasons, and the economy shut down, for which our people have suffered.

“But from this low point the only way is up, it is only by getting back to hard work and having governments in the future that are capable, decisive and strong, that we will move our country forward,” he said.

“To all Papua New Guineans, on this 45th anniversary of our independence, I urge you to not lose hope, but to join us and work for the future and the improvements we will once again deliver for today and future generations.

“Good government for our people is not a privilege, it is our right as citizens of Papua New Guinea.

“We will restore services to our people, and we will restore pride to the national government.

“I wish every Papua New Guinean, in every district, in every town and village, our best wishes for our celebrations of our Nation’s independence.

“We have enormous potential in our country, with our greatest asset being the strength of our people, and working together we will rebuild our economy and continue improving the quality of life for all of our people.”

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