GULF public servants and Kerema town residents last week petitioned Governor Havila Kavo and provincial assembly members over the lack of essential government services in Kerema town.
The petition was drawn up following the recent deaths of two public servants from Ihu who drowned during a fatal dinghy accident last week while returning from Port Moresby.
One of the deceased, Joe Hae, was employed by the Kerema General Hospital while Maiva Tamarua worked with the Gulf provincial tax office.
The petition pointed out that all public servants and their families regularly commute to Port Moresby because essential government and other services were not readily available in Kerema.
The petition also called for:
*The immediate upgrading of the Kerema-Malalaua road;
*The permanent appointment of a provincial disaster coordinator to oversee the operations of the provincial disaster office;
*The enforcement of the Maritime Act to ensure all boats and dinghies transporting people to and from Kerema have life jackets and other safety features including the operators not drunk and overloading passengers; and
*To restore all banking and postal services.
The petition also touched on the high cost of living in Kerema, the poor wharf and shipping services at Gulf ports by existing shipping companies, education, health, high air travel costs and the escalating law and order problems in the province.