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Monday, September 20, 2010

Namatanai MP secures K30m

THE Member for Namatanai Byron Chan has recently secured K30 million in outstanding mining grants for the people of New Ireland and the New Ireland Provincial Government.
Hon. Byron Chan MP

The National Government made the reassurance after the MP raised series of questions in parliament recently regarding Prime Minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s outstanding commitment of K30.2 million.

Sir Michael’s commitment was made last year when he attended the launching of the New Ireland Province Elders Council.

In assuring the MP, Sir Michael stated that “New Irelanders will get their K30.2 million, as promised and reflected in the 2010 budget, the outstanding mining grants derived from Lihir.”

Finance and Treasury Minister, Patrick Pruiatch, and Mining Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu also acknowledged the Prime Minister’s statements to release the funds.

Meanwhile, the current process of arbitration over the national government’s failure in the past 14 years to fully honour its commitments in the Lihir MOA signed in 1995 is an issue at hand to address.

That 1995 MOA specifies for among others the National Government to allocate each year major infrastructure grants, SSG and major infrastructure projects. The major infrastructure projects include an international airport, an international seaport, a modern well equipped hospital at Namatanai and major redevelopment and sealing of the Buluminski Highway.

None of the major projects have been undertaken since the signing of the MOA in 1995 and it is estimated that the National Government owes the New Ireland Provincial Government over K400 million in outstanding infrastructure grants.

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