By Rebecca KUKU
A FIRE service levy will be imposed on ratepayers in Port Moresby to fund the PNG Fire Service, according to Governor Powes Parkop.
Parkop, who is leading a fundraising drive for the victims of the fire which razed 15 homes and left more than 200 people homeless at Hanuabada on Saturday, said it was important to build the capacity of the fire service to address the city’s expansion and its increasing population.
Parkop said the National Capital District Commission was drawing up a plan styled along the New Zealand system to fund the service.
“We will be adopting the New Zealand system which I believe is being used around the world. It’s a user-pay system where everyone will help to fund the service,” Parkop said.
“The National Capital District Commission will fund them.
“A separate tax will be paid by taxpayers for the service, and maybe the Government will chip in too.”
The Fire Service in New Zealand is funded through the fire service levy which is a government tax applied to all contracts of fire insurance covering New Zealand property.
Parkop said city rates were likely to be increased to ensure that the fire service was capable of dealing with any fire situation.
“If it means increasing the rates of taxpayers in National Capital District Commission, we will do so, so that everyone can help to maintain and build the capacity of the fire service,” Parkop said.
“The fire service is an important service in the city.
“We have to contribute to building its capacity so that we do not lose our homes and lives in a fire.”
He was at Hanuabada yesterday to oversee the fundraising appeal for the fire victims.
One of the donors was the owner of 2 Fast Motors Billy Lin, and his wife, who donated K10,000.
Parkop said it was sad that 15 homes were lost in the Hanuabada fire.
He promised that the NCDC would fund the fire service.
“But I promise the people in the nation’s capital that we would be funding for the Papua New Guinea Fire Service to build their capacity so that we can protect our city,” he said.
Parkop said they were going to implement the system as soon as possible.
He said the same system would apply to the St John Ambulance service.
“NCDC will be funding both the PNG Fire Service and the St John Ambulance service as these are two vital services in the city,” he said.
By Rebecca KUKU