Mt Hagen unrest affected businesses


THE transport and agricultural sectors in the Highlands were affected by last week’s  unrest in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands, says local business leader James Leahy.
Leahy appealed to those in the province to consider its strategic location in which Southern Highlands, Hela and Enga provinces depended on for commerce.
“Our behaviour has an impact on their travel. Trade was directly impacted due to a minority’s bad behaviour to show how upset they were” Leahy said.
“The transport industry no doubt suffered a deep blow during this shutdown of Western Highlands businesshouses.
“Our transport system is the vein that keeps the blood flowing with cargo into the Highlands and our fresh produce out, either for local consumption or export.
“The agriculture business in  Western Highlands is the backbone of the province. Businesshouses in our province base their yearly business budgets and forecasts on farmers’ potential crop sizes – coffee, vegetables, fruits and grain products.
“Agriculture is what has driven our local economy for years and this will be the same going forward.
“We do not have permanent mines or an oil and gas industry or a sustainable fish or forest resource.
“We have our crops, our land and that is our wealth.”
Leahy said the closure of shops and blockage of the road and air transport would mean a loss of revenue for businesses.
“The unrest that took place in Mt Hagen and the wider Western Highlands area last week after the elections took place was totally unacceptable and detrimental to the businesshouses in the province” Leahy said.
“Shops had to remain closed, airports shutdown and roads blocked to prevent commuters from travelling into Mt Hagen city were constant and a loss of revenue to businesses due to these activities.”

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