Purpose of IBPC Brisbane office queried

National, Normal

The National, Thursday, May 26th 2011

The opposition has questioned the real motive behind the Independent Public Business Corporation maintaining an office in Brisbane at the expense of taxpayers.
Opposition whip and spokesman on border development, Peter Iwei called on acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to tell taxpayers the importance of setting up an office and the necessity of IPBC wasting money to rent an office in Brisbane.
“PNG citizens have the right to know why taxpayers’ money is spent renting an office on level 19 of Brisbane Club Towers on 241 Adelaide St, Brisbane,” Iwei said.
“How much is it costing the people for the rent, running cost and staff salaries?
“Is it to justify the living in Brisbane of the Somare family business adviser, now absentee CEO of the multi-billion kina IPBC or, is it to get away from the labour laws, so foreigners can be employed without work permits?” Iwei asked.
He said Abal should direct State Enterprises Minister Arthur Somare to immediately furnish a report with justifications of the continued existence of an overseas office for IPBC.
Iwei said the report should be tabled in parliament during this session on the financial state of IPBC.
He said the people were entitled to know how their money was spent.
“If there are any breaches in the Public Finances Management Act or any other law, politicians and others involved should be dealt with appropriately, including prosecution.
“The majority of PNG citizens are fed up of constant abuse of process and misuse of public funds by politicians
and their cronies,” he said.
He said it was about time the acting prime minister started taking some drastic action to curtail white collar crime and corruption.