The National, Wednesday 22nd May 2013
MOROBE provincial executive council is strongly opposed to Lae becoming a city commission.
At its meeting in Port Moresby last Saturday, the council opposed the idea of a city commission for Lae, saying they were unaware of how the idea had reached the National Executive Council.
Governor Kelly Naru, who chaired the PEC at the Granville Motel, said the local level government presidents disagreed on Lae becoming a city commission similar to the National Capital District Commission.
“The PEC disagreed with the idea. The current Morobe Provincial Government is not aware of how this city commission idea made its way to the NEC,” Naru said.
“We call on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his ministers to shelve this idea until all stakeholders come together and consider whether this is in the best interest of Morobe.
“The last thing we want to see is our rural people suffering because the revenue from GST will remain in the city and not go to the people who need it most.
“Over 60% of revenue from GST for Morobe will be lost to Lae City Commission and the PEC is strongly opposed to an idea that will lead to poverty for our rural population,” Naru added.
“We do not want our people to become like the Motu-Koitabu who have to live off NCDC.”
Naru said that Central and Gulf people spent a lot of money on goods and services in Port Moresby but got very little assistance in return from the NCDC.
The Lae City Commission bid has been mooted by the Lae City Authority and its Mayor James Khay.
Naru added that his government would not entertain the plans because of its implication on revenue for the provincial government, especially GST.
The meeting in Port Moresby was an eye opener for the LLG presidents who also had lunch at the National Parliament with Speaker and Finschhafen MP Theodore Zurenuoc.