By Simon Mokot
Transport Minister Nixon Duban says issues arising from the coastal vessel programme should be referred to appropriate authorities.
He told Parliament last week that some vessels had been docked at Cushion Bay in Port Moresby since 2012.
Gulf Governor Havila Kavo (pictured) was concerned about the vessels bought in 2012 under the coastal vessels and national transport programme using national sectorial transport funds facilitated by the Departments of Transport and National Planning and Monitoring.
Kavo said these vessels bought for Kikori Coastal Lines were sitting idle at Cushion Bay and were yet to serve the people of Kikori or Gulf.
He said the vessels were mv Kikori, a cargo ship, mv Baimuru (cargo), mv Davaria Aipueriva (ambulance), a fishing boat and mv Poilapi (fishing).
“From records, my PEC does not have any knowledge of the purchases and ownership of these vessels,” Kavo said.
“Can the Transport Minister table in Parliament status report into the registrations, licences, acquisitions, procurement and most importantly the ownership of these boats?”
Duban said the vessels were left there for maintenance reasons and operational issues and investigations would reveal those issues.
“We will make information available through appropriate authorities. If these issues relate to operational management or the abuse of public funds, then implications will be referred to the police,” said Duban.
According to Kavo, Gulf was the only maritime province that did not have wharves or jetties.
By Simon Mokot