The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
By PISAI GUMAR
HUON-Gulf MP Ross Seymour’s office or the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDP&BPC) was “not aware” of the arrangement to facilitate training for local vessel crewman in New Zealand.
In a statement on yesterday, Seymour denied claims in The National, July 16, page 30, regarding two locals, Sailas Sasa and Moro Sasa, being sent to New Zealand for training to operate and maintain a mv Morobe Rainforest II.
While welcoming the vessel, Seymour denied the arrangement to send Sailas and Moro for training.
However, the Challenge Marine (CM), the New Zealand-based ship manufacturer, sponsored the Sasas to train and enrich Sailas as an engineer and Moro as captain.
“The vessel, a 29m alloy passenger and cargo vessel with capacity to carry 120 passengers, including 50 tonnage cargo, was the initiative of Huon-Gulf district office,” Seymour said.
“It was co-funded through Public Investment Programme (PIP) and District Services Improvement programme (DSIP) at total cost of K11 million and is owned by people in three local level councils, especially Wampar, Salamaua and Morobe.
“Therefore, crewmen to operate and maintain onboard should come from three local level governments and not Bau village, in Morobe alone.
“That was unfair.”
He said that the vessel would truly relieve thousands of people in the district, including the maritime districts within the province, meaningfully.
Seymour acknowledged the collective and concerted effort from Department of National Planning to co-fund the vessel through PIP and DSIP from the district.
“I thank Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s office and former MP Sasa Zibe’s invaluable initiative to serve people in district and province,” Seymour said.
The Huon-Gulf member said that National Planning and Monitoring Minister, Charles Abel, in a letter on July 11, confirmed that the boat was owned by and should be operated and managed by the district administration.