ENB board to oversee implementation of Small Craft Act

National

EAST New Britain can now implement the Small Craft Act following the approval by the provincial assembly to establish its small craft board.
The assembly also approved K300,000 for the implementation of the Act.
Governor and chairman of the provincial assembly Nakikus Konga said East New Britain was a maritime province with people using small banana boats and dinghies. He said up to 95 percent of small boats were not properly equipped with safety gears which compromised the safety of people using small crafts.
Konga said the Act would give power to the provincial administration, through the small craft board, to impose specified fees and fines which would go back to the provincial registration board to sustain the operations of their establishment.
He said about 3000 motorised dinghies were used for travel and trade between Rabaul and Pomio in East New Britain and Namatanai, Kavieng and Lihir in West New Britain. “The immense activity remains largely unmonitored and unregulated to such an extent that basic emergency equipment are largely ignored as boat operators compete for a larger passenger return and compromising passenger and cargo loading ratio and safety,” Konga
said.
National Maritime Safety Authority chief executive officer Paul Ulnas said during a New Guinea Islands Transport Connectivity workshop in Kokopo last October the Small Craft Act was passed by Parliament in 2011 and was only gazetted on Feb 19, 2015.
“But not a lot of provinces had established their small craft boards,” Ulnas said.

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