PNG running out of precious time

Letters, Normal

The National – Thursday, December 16, 2010

IT is now 14 months since PNG won the bid to host the 2015 Pacific Games.
The national government supported the bid with financial commitments made by NEC and endorsed by parliament in March last year.
Since then, not a single toea of funding has been released.
The 2015 Pacific Games presents three massive and urgent priorities for the nation:
* To ensure the 2015 infrastructure and equipment committee has the available funds to ensure venues and games village are built and tested with major competition events prior to the games;
* To ensure that the 2015 organising committee has the necessary funds to recruit its team and to coordinate hosting of the event; and 
* To ensure that the PNGSFOC has the necessary funds to start it “grassroots to gold” programme of talent identification and development (in partnership with our sports foundation and national sports institute) to ensure our performance improves significantly from the disastrous 11th ranking position in the last Pacific mini games in Cook Islands.
Each of these tasks is enormous and each requires many years to execute.
The time for planning and talking is over, but without funding, nothing has actually started.
We have already lost 14 months.
Precious time is being thrown away and, with it, we are throwing away our chances of success.
When the 2011 national budget was passed last month, it made no mention of the funding priorities.
Nothing was allocated for 2015 Pacific Games and no explanation was given as to how the games would be funded.
Therefore, I call on the sports minister to clarify and confirm, after consultation with ministers for treasury, planning and public enterprise the following:
* When will the government release the funds? 
* How much funding will be released next year for each of the three priorities mentioned?
* How will the funds be released?
I hope the sports minister will appreciate there is now a significant and justifiable concern amongst all stakeholders, including all our sports federation, the PNG sports community and National Capital District Commission, over the delay in releasing funds.
It is my duty to respond to these concerns.
To enable me to be able to communicate to them and explain the situation, I need the sports minister’s assistance in providing answers to the above questions.


Iammo G Launa
Executive director PNGSF