Olga urges people to be ready for economic changes

Business, Main Stories

The National, Thursday, May 5, 2011

THE rich liquefied natural gas project in Southern Highlands is set to double the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to K18 billion by 2014.
However, the issue was whether the people and the government were prepared for the looming economic changes, Western Highlands Governor Tom Olga said.
Speaking during the official opening of the K8 million state-of-the-art Agilta Kona building yesterday in Mt Hagen, Olga said the government, private sector and the people had to be ready for the unprecedented and sudden growth of the economy that would be happening in three years.
In order to be prepared for this, more private and public partnership (PPP) should take place, as it was one of the ways to prepare for the anticipated changes that would be brought on by the LNG project.
He said the step taken by the building’s owner and local businessman, Glen Kundin, was an example of the PPP approach, who had also responded positively to the question he posed earlier.
He said Kundin, with the support of wife, Veronica, had not waited for the government, but took the initiative and drove a PPP project that would change the face of the province.
Olga also used the occasion to clarify that the much criticised K1.1 billion Mt Hagen city redevelopment project was now being realised through developments such as the completion of Agilta Kona.
He said the city redevelopment project’s vision was to reshape the image of Mt Hagen into a modern and progressive city.
Olga said the project’s three objectives were to address the mounting pressure on existing infrastructures, amenities and utilities, to plan for its future growth and expansion, and realign the city’s infrastructure to be the service and industrial centre in the highlands region.