Hela must have a PPC, says Potape

National, Normal

Komo LLG president Thomas Potape has called for the appointment of a provincial police commander for the Hela region.
He said separate police station commanders must be based in the districts of Komo, Margarima, Koroba, Lake-Kopiago, Pori and Hulia.
He said police presence must be based along the LNG project footprint from Angore, Hides PDL 1 to Hides PDL 7, PDL2 Kutubu, Northwest Moran, Moran PDL 5 and 6.
“We are happy that the National Government has responded positively to our calls in deploying 30 policemen to Komo.”
Mr Potape said law and order problems had cool down and peace had now return with the police presence on the ground.
“Komo has calmed down a bit in law and order and contractors have started work in a much peaceful and secure environment.”
Mr Potape said the Government must follow that through with more police deployed to other districts in Hela.
He warned that there were disputes between different landowner associations, companies and groups over leadership issues and could turn nasty if there were no police on the ground.
Mr Potape also called on Southern Highlands governor, Hela MPs, LLG presidents and local leaders to sit down together and map a road forward for the Hela region.
“Hela and Jiwaka provinces have been created and Hela has yet to mobilise itself.”
He said the LNG project was going ahead and Hela had been left behind.
Mr Potape has called on the National Government to immediately release the business development grants and MoA funds promised to landowners during the benefit sharing forums.
He said business development funds must be handled by the Department of Petroleum and Energy and no third party.