PM wants provincial govts to be independent

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By HELEN TARAWA
PRIME MINISTER James Marape wants to see provincial governments become independent and stop “depending on Waigani for handouts”.
It is why he is taking some governors with him on his first official visit to Australia.
“I’m taking a few governors for the sub-regional levels. We will see the context of how state and federate governments relate in Australia,” he said.
Marape wants to see provinces become economies and generate revenue.
“I’m taking a few governors to look at how provincial governments become micro economies instead of just depending on Waigani for handouts,” he said.
Marape said provincial governments must become autonomous and independent in terms of raising revenue and sustaining themselves under a revenue-sharing arrangement with the Government.
“This will be part of what will emanate in the conversation with the nation on September 16.”
Marape accompanied by wife Rachael arrived in Canberra yesterday.
Marape will hold bilateral talks with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison followed by a courtesy call on Governor-General David Hurley in Canberra.
He will then visit Perth in Western Australia and Sydney in New South Wales.
“I’m taking a few ministers who can also have exchanges to set the pace for the way PNG and Australia must relate going into the 2020s,” he said.
He said he was “looking forward to the visit”. He and his delegation return on July 26.
Deputy Prime Minister Davis Steven is acting PM.

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