Plans for GRA shift to new entity approved

National, Normal


THE East New Britain (ENB) provincial executive council (PEC) has approved preparatory work for the self-sustaining Gazelle Restoration Authority (GRA).
Governor and PEC chairman Leo Dion announced that financial support for GRA from the  National Planning Department ceased last year after it was established in 1995 for restoration activities from the volcanic disaster.
According to policy submission by manager Peter Buak, the management of GRA had started scaling down since last month and only a skeletal staff in the technical area would be in place to see through the transition period to a new entity.
Mr Buak said GRA had a proven record in the international community for implementing donor funding programmes and must allow continuity with the provincial administration to partner in other major developments for the province.
Mr Dion said GRA was working closely with the business arm of the ENB provincial government, ENB development corporation, to seek legal advice and eventually register a new GRA entity.
The GRA will shift focus initially to service delivery through the appropriate budgetary process of the ENB provincial administration and later self-sustain through developmental projects.
“It’s a pity not all MPs of ENB support the concept of GRA to continue but PEC has endorsed the start of preparation work for the GRA under a new entity that will allow for more development in the province,” he said.
Mr Buak said under the current status, the Act of Parliament 1995 did not allow GRA to operate out of the Gazelle Peninsula and believed the created entity would allow GRA to venture outside and could also bring revenue for the province.
He praised the staff of GRA for their tireless efforts in ensuring that all outstanding work programmes were achieved and continued to serve for the better restoration of ENB after the disaster.
Meanwhile, in the interim period the GRA would still operate under its current Act of 1995.