Gazelle to continue projects

National, Normal

The National, Monday June 25th, 2012

THE Gazelle Restoration Authority in East New Britain will implement its last phase when the new government is in office, according to provincial administrator Akuila Tubal.
He said more than K200 billion remained for programmes to be implemented in the last phase.
He was making clarifications last week amid criticisms, made during the election campaign on how the authority was implementing projects.
The authority has three main phases – the immediate phase, restoration phase and consolidation phase.
“Some of these projects are on hold due to lack of funding from the national government in the last two years.
“But the projects are still with us and as soon as the new government is formed, the projects will continue,” he said.
He said the immediate phase focused on the first three to four months after the volcanic eruptions in 1994 where the government’s priority was to save lives.
This included resettling people from affected areas in Rabaul in care centres.
“We had surplus funds of more than K7 million which was used to buy Gelagela resettlement land area and plantations for people that were being resettled.”
He said the money was also used to introduce cash back into the local economy as NGIP Agmark could not trade after their bank accounts were put on hold by the Bank of PNG. So the provincial government lent them K200 million to start buying copra and cocoa.
The restorative phase involved consultation with people in the Rabaul LLGs and communities in Kokopo.
Tubal said the authority was one of best implementing organisations in the country and in Asia Pacific according to the World Bank.
Phase three invaolves consolidating the immediate and restoration activities to restore a sustainable and risk-averse manner, the social and economic well-being of the population of the northeast Gazelle Peninsula.