Power woes must be fixed:Philemon

Lae News, Normal

LAE MP Bart Philemon yesterday expressed concern about the chronic power failure in Lae, the nation’s industrial city.
“Power is basic and essential for household use and business,” Mr Philemon, who is Deputy Opposition leader, said.
“When will the Government and PNG Power in particular consider this matter serious enough to warrant their time, resources and all-out-effort?” Mr Philemon asked.
“All it takes is for the the National Executive Council and PNG Power executives to put themselves in the situation of Lae residents and businesses who have been subjected to this issue for the past 10 years.
“But this seems to be too hard for State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare and PNG Power to do.”
“Is this the same man who recently said that the National Alliance-led Government must be returned as they are the only ones who can implement the ExxonMobil-led liquefied natural gas (LNG) project implemented?
“Just where are his priorities?”
Mr Philemon said this following three days of power failure that plunged the city into blackouts affecting households and business houses over the weekend in the nation’s industrial, and second most populous, city.
Power outage in Lae is due to insufficient power supply from the Yonki hydro-power station which necessitates a complementing generator.
PNG Power bought off the Misima Mines power generator, which is now being used in Lae but that too has proven insufficient.
Morobe Governor Luther Wenge tried to raise the issue on the floor of Parliament yesterday, asking what became of a Parliament petition on the matter.
His queries were abruptly rejected by Speaker Jeffery Nape when he directed the question to Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in the absence of the State Enterprises Minister.
A fuming Mr Philemon said: “If a leader cannot refer a question meant for a Minister to the Prime Minister on the floor of Parliament, something is seriously wrong.
“The Prime Minister is responsible for all Ministers and when any one of them is absent, he is the right one to take the question and refer the matter to the Minister responsible.”