The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
By JOHN PANGKATANA
ALL obstacles that have hindered progress for major infrastructure development to get underway in Port Moresby for the 2015 Pacific Games will be removed.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Finance Minister James Marape jointly gave the National Government’s assurance and backing to fast-track development as they are running behind time.
With the clock winding down, time is becoming the 2015 Pacific Games organising committee’s worst enemy.
The Government has recognised this and is now moving with haste to ensure NCD gets that new coat of paint on time to welcome the region’s best athletes.
O’Neill gave the assurance during the official groundbreaking ceremony for Global Construction to start demolishing existing infrastructures at the Sir John Guise Stadium yesterday.
“These are important infrastructures for our athletes and we must all work together to ensure we are working within the time constraints to deliver the best Pacific Games,” O’Neill said.
“Bear with us, I promise you the desired outcomes will do PNG proud.”
Marape chimed in to give his guarantee to all stakeholders that their planned infrastructure development would get off the ground.
“Tomorrow (today) I’m calling a meeting with the Pacific Games organising committees, PNG Sports Foundation, the State Solicitors office and the Central Supplies and Tenders Board to ensure that there are no more delays,” Marape said.
“We are time-bound in getting the infrastructures delivered by July 4, 2015, and I give my assurance to all contractors and service providers that all impediments in the Government bureaucracy will be removed to ensure preparations go unimpeded,” Marape added.
“I call on public servants to see the urgency of this and respond appropriately in assisting us getting the projects off the ground. We had a few hiccups especially with paying our service providers and contractors, I hope there will be no problems after this meeting,” he said.
Minister for Sports Justin Tkatchenko, the poltician tasked with delivering the Games on schedule, said they were racing with the clock but were confident now with the Government’s full backing..
“The Sir John Guise Stadium will be a shining light for PNG to be proud of. It will be a multi-purpose sporting venue and I believe we are on track to rock and roll by 2015,” Tkatchenko added.
He said this was one of the reasons why his ministry recently moved to acquire sporting venues from codes to open up appropriate infrastructure development.
On that issue, O’Neill clarified that the Government was moving to re-establish its assets.
“It is upsetting a few people but this is for the greater good for all sports and our citizens,” he said.
“Like the Lloyd Robson Oval, the Government has entered in a trust arrangement through a tax credit scheme with Oil Search to help manage this asset. This is to ensure that there is transparency and that the assets don’t fall into the wrong hands of a few individuals,” he said.