Poor infrustructure blamed

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday 16th April 2013

 THE cost of doing business, delivering services and cost of living for the people has increased because of poor infrastructure, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says.

He said this when addressing the Australia-Papua New Guinea infrastructure forum at the Gateway Hotel yesterday.

O’Neill said among many issues such as improving living standards, delivering better education and health services, maintaining a sound fiscal position, attracting investment and creating employment that the government was focused on delivering – infrastructure was among the top priority. 

He said that since independence in 1975, successive governments had paid little attention to either maintaining or building new roads and bridges, airports and ports, energy and communications.  

O’Neill said all forms of public infrastructure in the country hadve been struggling to keep up with the demands of increasing population and a growing economy.   

He added that inadequate and inefficient infrastructure had impacted on major companies, regional communities, farmers and the villagers. 

It also impacts on the ability of the government, government agencies, and churches and community groups, to deliver basic services.

“In this year’s budget, our government has made a start at lifting the national governments performance when it comes to infrastructure. 

“We are committed to spending well over K2 billion this year either on repair or building new infrastructure,” O’Neill said.

He reiterated that the government committed K12.1 billion over five years, starting this year, towards a national building infrastructure investment programme.