By MALUM NALU
Health secretary Pascoe Kase is unsure about the future of redevelopment work at the Angau Memorial General Hospital in Lae now that the Manus asylum centre has been closed.
Angau is one of the major projects agreed to by Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd (Australia) and Peter O’Neill in the asylum deal of July 19, 2014.
Angau board chairman David Wissink said yesterday that Australian funding through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) would continue.
These projects are redevelopment of the University of PNG and University of Technology, redevelopment of Angau, reconstruction of the Ramu Highway linking Lae and Madang, construction of facilities for magistrates and the lower courts at Waigani, as well as general development in Manus.
The PNG Supreme Court ruled in April that the centre was illegal – which threw into doubt the future of the projects.
Kase told a government departmental heads’ meeting last Friday that the future of Angau would have to be discussed properly.
“For me, I would like to tell Australia to continue to fund it (Angau) and I’m sure everyone here does too.”
Wissink said: “I’ve been assured by representatives of DFAT that their level of commitment towards a new Angau remains. However, the PNG Government, although equally committed, has still provided no indication of when matching funds might be available.
“We are in the process of re-evaluating our master plan to take full advantage of what funds are on offer from Australia.”
Wissink said PNG counterpart funding of A$200 million was required towards funding the master plan.
By MALUM NALU