Monday, March 09, 2015

A growing Lae City must have its own government


Fisheries Minister Hon Mao Zeming says Lae is a growing city that must have an authority take charge of maintaining infrastructure and delivering its municipal services.
Zeming attended the special Tutumang session in Lae on Thursday, and his prepared remarks were incorporated into Tutumang's  Hansard.
The Tewai-Siasssi MP said Lae's strategic location was importance to the nation and its economic growth.
"It is Papua New Guinea's manufacturing centre. It hosts the nation's largest sea port facility.
"It is the gateway to the nation's multi-billion kina mineral and hydro-carbon projects located in our own province and the highlands region, like Harmony Gold in Morobe and the PNG LNG Project in the Hela province."
But he said before the National Government's intervention in 2012, Lae's roads were deteriorating, gabbage collection was non-existent, street lights destroyed, and businesses struggling to cope.
The city's parks and recreational areas were no longer there.
"All these was happening under the nose of the Morobe Provincial Government, the Lae Urban LLG, and some of the leaders who are spreading misinformation about the proposed city authority," Zeming said.
He said in 2012, the O'Neill/Dion Government acted quickly to restore Lae city.
"The government has allocated over K200 million to upgrade and seal Lae city roads. Many of you can see the result as you drive around the city.
"The government is spending about K300 million to upgrade the Lae-Nadzab road and make turn it into a four-lane highway. Work has already begun on stage one of this project
"Phase 1 of the Lae Tidal Basin Development project has been completed. And Phase 2 is now underway. This K700 million project will transform our port service and ensure business efficiency not only in Lae but everywhere else.
"Over K35 million is being spent to redevelop Angau Hospital. Go to the hospital and see how we have changed the outpatient and the children's ward.
"For the future, the new Angau Hospital will be built for close to K1.6 billion in partnership with the Australian Government.
"The National Airport Corporation is completing a feasibility study to upgrade the Nabzab Airport so it is accorded international airport status.
"This will give us an opportunity to create a township near or around this facility, creating a business hub and providing opportunities for locals there.
"All these development are for the good of Lae city, its residents, Morobe and the rest of PNG. But it cannot happen in a vacuum.
"Lae city needs an authority to oversee these development, to maintain an efficient and effective municipal service in partnership with the Lae Urban LLG and the Ahi LLG, and the Morobe Provincial Government.
"The authority will not undermine or overtake the responsibilities of these entities."
Mr Zeming said he was pleased the Tutumang has agreed to review the proposed Act, and where possible, amendments will be considered.
"What I can assure you is the Lae City Authority is not being created as a power base for anyone."