By ISAAC NICHOLAS
THE LNG project will offer job opportunities for those seeking employment and those currently in the public sector.
Public Service Minister Peter O’Neill, who is also Works and Transport Minister, said there was unlikely to be any “brain drain” from the public service.
He said this to allay fears that workers would leave the public sector in droves in search of better paying jobs in the PNG LNG project.
Public Employees Association (PEA) president Michael Malabag said the National Government as the employee had failed to look after its workers and that most are likely to ship-out once the LNG project comes on stream.
Mr Malabag appealed to the National Government to put in place mechanisms, including better pay, housing and remuneration for the public servants.
He said if the terms and conditions of public servants were improved, they would remain and give 100% to implementing Government policies including Vision 2050.
Mr O’Neill said, in response that the Government was working closely with ExxonMobil to assist in training workers and upgrading their skills. He said this was not brain drain.
He said the LNG project was very exciting as it was also offering better conditions for its workers, but preference is going to those who do not have jobs.
The Minister said the National Government with assistance from Australia was now training public servants at the Institute of Public Administration for up-coming public servants.
Mr O’Neill said the National Government had an obligation to look after its workers with the PEA and Department of Personnel Management now engaging in a new pay agreement.