Wednesday, January 26, 2011

National Alliance Momase backs Pruaitch

THE National Alliance Momase branch MP’s have thrown their support behind suspended deputy leader Patrick Pruaitch to lead the group into the elections next year, The National reports.

The NA Momase branch held a meeting in Wewak yesterday where a lot of issues were raised including the current political issues and strategies for next year’s general elections.

The meeting, chaired by Pruaitch, was attended by nine NA members from the region. Bogia MP John Hickey, who was in his electorate, and Arthur Somare were unable to attend the meeting.

The meeting also coincided with the opening of the facilities in Wewak by the prime minister.

NA spokesperson Joyce Grant said it was the first meeting by the NA Momase group that discussed political and development issues in the districts, province and region.

She said although Pruaitch was under suspension by the courts, he remained an MP and the members have confidence in him leading the group.

This is the first meeting that the Momase branch held to get themselves organised and prepare strategies for the elections.



Unsolved issues forced people to act, say leaders


THE shutting down of the Hides 4 LNG plant site is the culmination of unattended and outstanding issues relating to the liquefied natural gas project between the landowners, project operator ExxonMobil, the state and contractors, landowner representatives said yesterday.

Andy Hamaga, Erick Hawai, Erick Haroli, John Galoma and Chris Payabe, representing various well heads and block companies from PDL1 and PDL7 said the shutdown, initiated by the relatives of a boy who had died, was not the only reason for landowner dissatisfaction.

The leaders said the death of the boy, and the hospitalisation of two others, occurred at a time when the situation on the ground was volatile due to a build-up of discontentment and anger over the government’s inability to honour its various commitments and other outstanding issues.

Hamaga outlined the issues as:

lOutstanding memorandum of agreement commitments;

lBusiness development grants as per the UBSA and LBSA set formula;

lState to tell the landowners on the progress on the substitute of MRDC and EIC;

lRelease of the infrastructural grants;

lAddressing the resettlement issue;

lILGs before UBSA and LBSA; and

lOn-site issues as per the LBBSA.

“The range of issues has accumulated over time and the sudden death of the child has added fuel to the fire and the consequence is the site closure,” Hamaga said.

“We want to clarify to the stakeholders of the PNG LNG project, and the people of PNG, that there are multiple reasons that need answers from both, the developer and the state, to ensure the smooth running of the project,” he added.

“When commitments are made, we do not do it for the sake of doing it or to serve the interest of one party,” Hawai said.

They called on state ministers, developer and the landowners to convene a high-level meeting comprising all parties to iron out all issues so that the project could go ahead without any more delays.



Drink driving lands senior cop in court


A senior policeman based in Kundiawa, Chimbu will appear before the Kundiawa District Court to answer charges of drink driving causing accidents at two separate locations in Kundiawa last weekend.

Chimbu provincial police commander Chief Insp John Kale said yesterday that the officer drove a private vehicle while under the influence of liquor on Saturday.

He said he allegedly bumped a Suzuki vehicle at Wara Market and as he was heading towards Gumine road he bumped into a PMV - a Dyna truck at Mirane village south of

Kundiwa town.

“The officer is suspended for 21 days, arrested and charged. He  will appear before the Kundiawa District Court to answer his charges this week,” Kale said.

In another incident, rider of a motor bike is recovering at the Kundiawa General Hospital after colliding with a Toyota LandCruiser last Saturday.

Kale said the vehicle was on its way to Southern Highlands when the motor bike rider, believed to be under the influence of alcohol, ran to the vehicle.

“The biker is in serious condition, recovering at the hospital,” he said.

Kale appealed to motorists to avoid

drink driving because most of the accidents were caused by drink driving.

He said law-abiding officers like the police involved either on-duty or off-duty would be dealt with accordingly.

Meanwhile, a new vehicle ran off the road at Prinorkwa

hill towards Wara

Simbu near Kundiawa town.

The new Toyota LandCruiser hire vehicle was from Goroka. It is not known whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol and no casualties were reported from the accident.



Gr 12s await certificates


GRADE 12 students from three secondary schools in Chimbu are racing against time to collect their certificates from the Education Department.

Parents of Grade 12 students from Kerowagi, Yaweh Moses and Kondiu secondary schools are raising concerns that the measurement services unit (MSU) of the Education Department has yet to print their children’s certificates.

They said that there was only two weeks left before students who were accepted at the universities and other tertiary institutions  leave for studies. They then would have to produce their certificates before they are enrolled.

The schools had submitted their internal assessments of the core-subjects in advance and the student certificates should have been issued already.

However, the education division in Kundiawa, when contacted, confirmed electricity supply to MSU office in Port Moresby, which is responsible for printing the certificates, were cut off.

Chimbu education adviser Essy Walkaima confirmed the graduating students from the three schools have yet to receive their certificates.

“It is a crucial period where MSU should have consistent power supply to ensure certificates were printed and issued on time,” Walkaima said.

Parish priest from Kondiu Catholic church Fr Peter Noglai also expressed concerns at the delay in the issuing of certificates for Grade 12s from Kondiu Secondary School.

Attempts to get comments from acting Education Secretary Dr Joseph Pagelio yesterday were unsuccessful.

According to sources  in the department, the problem would be attended to immediately.





CIL: Big prospect for cashew sector


THE cashew nut industry in Papua New Guinea has the potential to generate more than K7.5 million a year from a 1,000ha plantation at current world prices.

This was revealed yesterday by Cashew International Ltd yesterday when it made its first-ever purchase of cashew nuts from a local grower.

The Pawalagai Cashew Supplies, a family business headed by Gary Pepena of Aroma Coast, Central, sold 168kg of nuts to CIL at current world prices of US$0.80-US$0.85 (K2.23 to K2.37) per kilo.

Pepena’s sale netted them with at least K420 after CIL bought the nuts at a special price of K2.50.

It was their first commercial harvest from a 2ha plantation which was developed in 2006.

Pepena said the initial sale has encouraged them to grow 2,000 more cashew trees from the present crop of only 428.

He said they were pleased that there was a market for them.

CIL general manager Ron Bell stressed that the cost of cashew nuts depended on the world market prices which changed according to world demands.

He, however, said since this was their first ever sales, he was buying the nuts at K2.50/kg to make it a special occasion.

Bell said cashew was a commercial crop that was best suited to the coastal climates of PNG, which, when well kept, would bear fruits for at least 100 years, with an average of 15kg of nuts per tree.

He said the demand for cashew nuts was high and PNG had the potential to be a top supplier, which can only be achieved if there were enough fruit-bearing trees.

Bell said the nuts his company bought now would not be exported for processing, but instead propagated for seedlings and then sold back to the growers.

He said the aim was to plant more trees that can produce hundreds of containers of cashews a year to enable them to break into the Australian market, which spends over A$40 million a year on cashew nut imports.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, I am trying to get in touch with CIL. Any contacts like phone or email?