Uncertainty continues at Lae Port

National, Normal

The National, Friday 10th May 2013


THE PNG Maritime Workers Union and Ahi/Labu landowners have warned of continued uneasiness at the Lae Port if new stevedoring companies are allowed to operate there.

They also demanded on Wednesday the immediate sacking of PNG Ports Corporation Ltd chairman Nathaniel Poiye and chief executive officer Stanley Alphonse.

These are three of the six demands in a petition given to Independent Public Business Corporation managing director Wasantha Kumarasiri in a meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting came about after the landowners forcefully closed Lae port on Tuesday morning. It was reopened on Wednesday after assurances by Kumarasiri that their demands would be looked into.

They demanded:

 l The withdrawal of expressions of interests for stevedoring and port terminal handling;

 l That PNG Ports Corporation must not take over any existing stevedoring and handling functions that current companies perform;

 l That Lae Port Tidal Basin negotiations for operators be given to existing landowner stevedoring companies under suitable public-private partnership arrangements with IPBC;

 l There be no entry and involvement by Patrick’s Stevedores at both the port and the tidal basin project; and,

 l The immediate sacking of Poiye and Alphonse

The petition was signed by Ahi representatives Dominic Mark and John Ngandang Kahata, Labu spokesman Gilingde Kepuctong and union representatives Stone Emo and Philip Maven.

Copies were sent to Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, Morobe Governor Kelly Naru, Lae MP and Community Development Minister Loujaya Toni, Huon Gulf MP Ross Seymour, Nawaeb MP Gisuwat Siniwin, opposition leader Belden Namah and deputy opposition leader Sam Basil.