By ZACHERY PER
POLITICAL instability and corruption impeded Papua New Guinea’s smooth progress after independence in 1975, according to Environment and Conservation Minister Benny Allan.
“If there is corruption and instability in the government, the much-anticipated economic benefits from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project will not be realised,” he told more than 5,000 people at the closure of the 54th annual Goroka show on Sunday.
Allan said the ball was now in the courts of the political leaders and public servants to weed out corruption and maintain the current stability in government, to allow the people to reap the harvest of the LNG project.
He said progressive developments over the years had been severely affected by continuous changes of governments and corruption at the highest level.
“Over the past eight years, Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare has brought about stability in the government that resulted in an 8% growth in the national economy.
“For the first time, the 89 districts in the country are receiving K17 million.
“The world-class LNG project will transform PNG, but corruption and instability must go,” Allan said.
He commended the organisers of the 54th annual Goroka show for choosing the theme “Culture and climate change”.
He said the theme was relevant because of PNG’s diversified culture.
Allan pointed out the need to protect and preserve culture and environment for future generations.
He called on the people to protect their environment by avoiding activities like burning bush especially at this time of prolonged dry season in the highlands region.