The National, Monday, May 16, 2011
MORE than K150 million will be required to carry out full maintenance of the deteriorating National Parliament House, acting Speaker Francis Marus has said.
Responding to questions raised by members of the opposition led by Sir Puka Temu, who asked why the house was experiencing continuous power blackouts while, at the same time, the facilities were deteriorating.
He asked if the K20 million in appropriations were given by the government and why there did not appear to be any change if the money was given.
He said it was a disgrace when parliament was hit by continuous power blackouts, had air-conditioning facilities that did not work, defunct elevators, deteriorating toilets facilities, worn out ceilings, floors carpets and tiles.
“The government has told lies to the people of PNG and the honourable house when they adjourned the parliament to May this year, claiming that the parliament needed a major maintenance with the allocation of K20 million,” he said.
He said the manner in which parliament was adjourned by the speaker, and upon advice from the government show, it was simply to avoid the looming vote of no-confidence against it and “not for the purpose of carrying out maintenance work as nothing has transpired since adjournment”.
He said parliament was not accessible to information technology systems during this technological era where everyone is hooked up.
Forest Minister Timothy Bonga highlighted that parliament should provide the facilities “as the house needs a complete change”.
Other members of parliament questioned why many of the offices and facilities in parliament were deteriorating while the speaker was said to be abroad.
Marus, however, said parliament was only given K10 million from the
K20 million allocation but it was in a trust account because it not enough to carry out all maintenance work.
He said more money was needed in order to get the facilities working and
He said another K25.6 million was required for the air-conditioning facilities while another K6 million was required for the replacement of the existing three elevators.