By HELEN TARAWA
THE Fairfax Harbour in Port Moresby will be closed and activities severely restricted during the Apec leaders’ summit in November, according to an official.
Apec Coordination Authority chief executive officer Chris Hawkins told The National yesterday that access to the Motukea port would also be restricted because the cruise liner Sea Princess, to be used as accommodation by Apec delegates, would be berthed there.
“Movements in the harbour will be restricted because of past experiences of attacks on vessels. It’s quite serious,” he said.
Hawkins warned that those who frequently used the harbour, including companies, would be affected.
“Anyone using the habour may be affected at that time. Negotiations will be held with the maritime security officials on how best to work around this,” he said.
“We don’t want to interrupt businesses. If your operations need to continue during those peak days when the cruise ships are in the habour, then we will work with the maritime security operations team to cater for this. This will include customer boats and vessels.”
Hawkins said any vessels allowed into the habour and ports would have to be for a very good reason. And it will be under high security surveillance.
The cruise ship Pacific Explorer will be berthed at T-Wharf in downtown Port Moresby. It will be the venue of the Apec chief executive officers’ summit.
The third cruise liner Pacific Jewel will be berthed at the old Cargo wharf. It will be used by more than 2000 media representatives.
Meanwhile Hawkins said the frequency of domestic flights would be up to the airlines.
“Ideally, we would hope that there wouldn’t be many people coming into Port Moresby from the regional areas during that week,” he said.
“It’s really up to the travelling public if they do. But if you look at the interruptions at that time, it would be difficult. And with the two public holidays, it’s a question of whether it’s worth travelling. But again the airlines will make their own decisions.
“Life has to go on and business has to go on. But the side-effect and any effect it will have on the safety and security of the Apec leaders’ week is our concern.”
By HELEN TARAWA