PM slams leaders over compo claims

National, Normal

PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has lashed out at leaders for failing to educate the people and knock some sense into them to stop unnecessary compensation claims.
He also told Parliament that he would be looking at the possibility of engaging overseas contractors to redesign the Highlands Highway.
Sir Michael was responding to Enga Governor Peter Ipatas on the state of the Highlands Highway and also alluded to the media exchange between Works Minister Don Polye and National Planning Minister Paul Tiensten.
“Can you give an undertaking that the Highlands Highway is given the attention it deserves?” Mr Ipatas asked.
The Prime Minister, in response, said the misunderstanding between the two ministers had been resolved and the Government had already used K600 million for works on that highway.
He said the other major problem was unnecessary compensation claims by landowners.
“The Government cannot pay compensation as well as pay for road works. Let’s get sense into our people. Leaders must educate their people,” Sir Michael said.
He said the compensation claims were not only for highways but even schools and health centres were affected.
“We have to stop these huge unnecessary compensation claims.
“Can we start educating our people?” he asked.