The National – Thursday, December 16, 2010
THE man tasked with getting all of Port Moresby’s sporting facilities ready for the 2015 Pacific Games, Graham Osborne said it could cost close to K1 billion to have all venues up to games standard.
Osborne, who is the PNG Sports Foundation’s board chairman as well as the the facilities head, made the comments yesterday following PNGSF executive director Iamo Launa’s plea for the government to inject funds into the sports governing body in order to get the ball rolling.
He said what Launa had alluded to in The National yesterday (“Launa seeks funding”), was the “Grassroots for gold” which did not get any funding in the 2011 national budget.
The New Zealander told The National although time was a factor progress was good and their 2015 Pacific Games five-year plan was being put into action.
“I can confirm that the funds have been allocated by the government and my facilities committee has already spoken to all sporting codes – even cricket – and have taken on their views and plans are in place,” Osborne said.
“The cost of the new stadium which is similar to Skilled Stadium will be around K450 million and to upgrade and refurbish all other existing facilities will cost at least another K400 million.” However Osborne stressed that the figures he gave were only for the facilities and not the accommodation and services for visiting teams.
He added that this was the sole responsibility of the of the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee (PNGSFOC) and would add to the total cost of the games which could exceed K1 billion.
“The PNFSFOC are the authority to manage the games – the competitions, athletes, officials, protocols and accommodation and services – so they need to get their end organised.”
Osborne said the PNGSFOC were yet to appraise him or the PNGSF on the progress in securing sponsors for the games but added that with the recent change in the federation leadership progress could be slower in that regard.
“They (PNGSFOC) need to formulate a plan of attack and get us (facilities committee and PNGSF) involved.
“But things are always like this in terms of preparation for a big event and as usual we’ll be late.”
With the games still four years away some sources have scoffed at the idea of the 2015 Pacific Games becoming another “Delhi” but even the Indians were confident years in advance about their ability to complete preparations on time.
The National Gaming Control Board’s community benefit fund will be a major source of funding for the games according to Osborne but the government and corporate sponsors are expected to play a major role in financing the regional event which has grown in scope and standards in recent times.