Cops to be stationed at LNG sites

National, Normal

The National – Monday, February 14, 2011

POLICE will be stationed at the LNG project foot-print from Lae in Morobe through to Southern Highlands, Gulf and Portion 152 in Central, Internal Security Minister Mark Maipakai said last week.
Maipakai, who was with the national government team to dispatch state commitments to Hides 4 landowners on Friday told a crowd at Para that the national government had allocated K7 million for the construction of a police station and barracks at Komo district.
He said a similar amount would be spent on Kikori police station and barracks and throughout the entire footprint of the LNG project.
Maipakai told the people that police presence was not there to protect person or corporate organisations, but to ensure government presence on the ground and maintain peace.
“Police will not sides with the companies or landowners. We will be fair in dispensing our policing duties and upholding the rule of law.”
He said the police force had started its recruiting exercise to beef up police numbers in both at the LNG project sites and also in other provinces.
Komo local level government president Thomas Potape who was at the ceremony welcomed the news.
“I am very happy to receive the news from the national government delegation coming on the ground telling their plans to the people in the project areas.”
Potape commended Deputy Prime Minister Sam Abal, Arthur Somare, Maipakai, and Sir Arnold Amet to go on the ground after more than 12 months assuring the people of the government commitments.
“I am very happy and so are the other leaders at the village and ward levels that K7 million will be made available for the new police station and barracks.
“This is the first time that a government team is directly talking with my people and making commitments on the ground.”
Potape said he had been calling on the national government for police to be based in Komo before the construction phase for project security and welcomed the commitment.