By PISAI GUMAR
THE Lae City Authority is finally off the ground – three years after it was passed in Parliament – with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill promising Government’s full support for the new body.
He was in Lae yesterday to endorse the establishment of the authority (LCA) as the municipal services delivery mechanism, set up to instil confidence in the business community and ratepayers in the nation’s industrial hub.
O‘Neill witnessed the swearing in of the 12 members of the board chaired by Lae MP John Rosso. He assured them of Government’s support for the body to have “a teeth to bite”.
He said the establishment of the LCA was for the expansion of the city taking into consideration the upcoming Wafi-Golpu mining, Lae wharf expansion, Nadzab Airport development and other economy impact activities.
“For the Wafi-Golpu project, there is no fly-in, fly-out and the final determination of the documents will be completed before the Apec Summit,” he said.
He stressed that the LCA was created not to replace the provincial government and the districts.
He pointed out that some critical decisions needed to be made taking into consideration the demand for services, urban influx and the expansion of the Lae-Nadzab urban development plan (2016-2025).
“We cannot build cities all around the country. Therefore the government is mindful and prioritised to build Lae, Kokopo and Mt Hagen as service centres, enabling people to come and get services and return to (their) districts,” O’Neill said.
“The LCA as the municipal service provider has the teeth to collect its own revenue and share with national and provincial coffers, apart from taking care of the basic municipal needs of ratepayers.”
He pointed out that Morobe had huge potential, especially in agriculture.
Morobe Governor Ginson Saonu and Bulolo MP Sam Basil appealed to the board members to share whatever they collected with the national and provincial governments, and the eight other districts in Morobe.
By PISAI GUMAR