The National, Monday 29th April 2013
By GABRIEL LAHOC
STAKEHOLDERS in the stevedoring industry in Lae have relayed their plight to Opposition leader Belden Namah, Bulolo MP Sam Basil, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru and Huon Gulf MP Ross Seymour.
The group comprises landowner companies Riback Stevedores, Lae Port Services, United Stevedores, Papua New Guinea Maritime Workers Union and the Ahi and Labu representatives as traditional landowners of the Lae port site.
Spokesman Dominic Mark said despite an explanation by PNG Ports chief executive Stanley Alphonse on their first petition to him, they still believed they were treated unfairly by the company.
The group has deferred a planned closure of the Lae port “subject to continued discussions and consultations with our respective landowners and union”.
But it warned that they would not hesitate to shut the port if the response from the national government was unsatisfactory.
Their response letter to Alphonse reads: “We maintain that there was no consultation from the start when PNGPC embarked on its mordenisation programme hence the landlord has unnecessarily burdened the state of PNG with investments in Mobile Harbour Cranes and second-hand Rubber Tyred Gantries.”
Morobe Governor Naru pledged to take up their concerns with the Prime Minster Peter O’Neill and the national executive council and called on them to be united in pursuing their agenda.