Priest - Poverty is High in PNG

        By Maureen Gerawa - Post Courier

The number of vulnerable people, including widows and orphans in this country is increasing with no sign of Government support, says a Catholic priest Fr Jude Ronayne-Forde.

While responding to comments at the launch of this year's State of the World's Children Report yesterday, he told a small gathering, that while there were many good things about the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and how this was being implemented through the various departments, his experience showed otherwise.

In the past 10 years, Fr Jude's work has extended to those living with HIV, including women & children and found that the number of widows, single mothers and orphans, especially in Port Moresby is increasing with no Government support in place for these people.


 The Papua New Games opens this weekend with Teams from almost all 20 provinces in the country.

The Prime Minsiter announced K1.5 million yesterday for the Games to be staged in Port Moresby. But sadly there are provinces still scrounging around for money to send their teams into the nation's capital. One such province is Oro. It was promised money by the Governor and the Ijivitari MP. The money from the Ijivitari MP was reported in the papers as having been contributed.

In a last minute bid to support Team Oro, fundraising activities by Port Moresby residents went into full swing including a Concert by Oro Gospel Group "Voice In The Wind" last Sunday at the Drill Hall, University of PNG.

Whatever amount being raised, not just by Team Oro supporters, but other province supporters, has all good intentions and I know will be channeled appropriately to make each one of us proud to be from our individual provinces.



 Fynn Knott of Port Moresby was fascinated by the Shark Jaw headdress on Luke Nunisa who travelled from Tufi to Alotau with a canoe & a dance troupe to participate in the Canoe & Kundu Festival in Alotau.

Milne Bay Magic can be experienced in 2 ways. There is one that is sunny and oh! so charming; and the other which smothers you with daily showers. 

Now....the Milne Bay people might brag to you about other "magical" things & beings that sail or fly by night but for me a week ago, I was either inundated by the sunny beauty or, the showers of blessings.

Milne Bay is steeped in rich ritual environment and strict protocols and that was the order of the 3-day Festival. The usual drizzle did not dampen the spirit of the Festival goers as seen by the  sails, canoes, paddles, young warriors and  admirers who made the Festival all the worthwhile.

LNG hedging on Australian aid for Governance, Transparency

From Industry News Newsletter

GOOD governance and transparency is at the core of Papua New Guinea’s discussions with Australia on aid for developing the PNG LNG project.

“We have held official and ministerial-level discussions on Australian assistance for development of a robust and transparent governance regime covering taxes and dividends from LNG received by the PNG government,” PNG Minister for Public Enterprises Arthur Somare said.

Somare, National Planning and Development Minister Paul Tiensten and Public Services Minister Peter O’Neill had met their Australian counterparts in Canberra last month for talks on the Australian government’s Export Finance Insurance Corporation providing loan finance for PNG LNG in the form of tied concessional loans to purchase Australian goods and services.

Australia had sought reassurances on the commercial risks of the PNG project and was seeking clarity on its potential to transform the PNG economy and the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Somare also noted the National Executive Council would consider establishing a sovereign wealth fund as a sustainable long-term vehicle for the 19.4% the PNG government held in the liquefied natural gas project through the Independent Public Business Corporation.

“With the help of Australian government experts, the PNG Parliament will be able to enact sovereign wealth fund legislation that will determine optimum use of LNG project dividends with an eye to maximising infrastructure spending through the development budget.”

Australian technical experts are also helping the PNG Ministry for National Planning and Development with economic modelling that will provide guidelines for the ideal use of government revenues from LNG, resource tax administration, implementation of a revenue stabilisation funds, creation of a sovereign wealth fund and other relevant areas.

Australia is also offering to support training and skills development to complement ExxonMobil’s plans for the Port Moresby Technical college by helping the college management administer the facilities.

Somare said major revenues from PNG LNG will begin to flow in 2015-16 and the current government wanted to make sure the government of that time would use the funds to improve infrastructure and service delivery through the nation.

“I believe this is the first time in our history that a PNG government has sought to have in place specific governance regimes to cover a major resource development.

“These measures will minimise corruption and ensure that the additional $US50 billion in taxes and dividends that will flow to the PNG government over a 20-year period will transform every aspect of life in PNG.”

Somare added that PNG was also holding discussions with the World Bank on the best ways to avoid the so-called “Dutch Disease” where a sharp upsurge in resource revenues can negatively impact on other segments of the economy.

Meanwhile, PNG’s National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) said an independent and accountable sovereign wealth fund was essential to ensure part of the revenue from PNG LNG and other resource projects was preserved for future generations.

It said PNG remained largely unprepared for the proceeds of such enormous resource generated revenues pointing to a public sector that was unable to deliver basic services and infrastructure even with the 3-4 billion kina ($A1.2-1.6 billion) locked in a government trust account.

Nasfund said that by collecting part of the tax revenue stream from a project and investing it for future generations, a sovereign fund would, over time, reduce reliance on natural resources.


Bomana War Cemetery - just outside Port Moresby is a resting place for many of the WW2 casualties

From Post-Courier

Visitor numbers to the Kokoda Track have dropped by more than a quarter in a horror year that included the deaths of trail walkers and a fatal plane crash.

Visitor numbers to the arduous 96km track that crosses from the Oro to Central province - where Australian Diggers fought alongside allied forces against the Japanese during World War 2 - have fallen 27 per cent, the Kokoda Track Authority CEO Rod Hillman has said.

He told the Global Eco Conference in Alice Springs, Australia this week that 4200 people had attempted to walk the track this year, compared with more that 5600 last year.

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