The National, Tuesday October 29th, 2013
LANDS and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allen, pictured, has urged provincial governments to establish provincial physical planning boards and offices.
This is to facilitate the decentralisation of the department’s powers and functions to the provinces.
He said the Physical Planning Act section 19 provides for the establishment of the boards.
“As such, the Office of the Chief Physical Planner is mandated to assist provincial administrations establish their respective provincial physical planning boards by means of devolving physical planning powers and functions to the provinces,” he said.
So far, nine boards and offices have been established in West Sepik, Morobe, East New Britain, West New Britain, New Ireland, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Milne Bay, Madang and Western Highlands.
Madang, East Sepik, Southern Highlands and Enga are preparing for the transfer of physical planning powers and functions to them.
“Greater responsibility lies ahead for the provincial administrations and governments,” Allen said.
“It is now their responsibility to ensure resource allocation for the maintenance and sustainability of their provincial physical planning offices and boards.
“The responsibility lies squarely with the department as it is a shared function,” he added.
“The department will provide advice and maintenance of professional standards of physical planning as required by the Physical Planning Act.
“The department and ministry anticipate devolving the physical planning function to all provinces within the next three years, thus participation of all provinces is necessary to implement this important programme.”