Prime Ministers Media Releases

PRIME MINISTER LEADS BY EXAMPLE

Prime Minister James Marape led by example yet again sending a clear message to the people of Papua New Guinea that COVID-19 vaccinations were safe and available to all Papua New Guineans, and his Government was committed to ensuring that everyone who wants them – has access.

Prime Minister joined his colleague Members of Parliament Ministers Kerenga Kua and Jelta Wong and Governor Allan Bird to receive the COVID-19 Booster.

“People the world over are lining up for Booster shots and it is incumbent on my Government to give our people access to leading science and research in so far as COVID-19 vaccines are concerned. The direction from the Pandemic Controller was clear, and was supported and reiterated by the Secretary for Health last week. The vaccines are here for our benefit – I urge all our people to get vaccinated,’’ said Hon. James Marape.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Jelta Wong has received preliminary reports of an impending surge being experienced at the Port Moresby General Hospital with positivity rates over 50% in the past week. Minister Wong advised that the surge was expected after large gatherings took place over the Christmas period. Minister Wong further reiterated that our best defence against COVID-19 is to practice the Niupela Pasin and get vaccinated.

PM MARAPE COMMENDS PARLIAMENT FOR PASSAGE OF BILLS

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has commended MPs from both sides of Parliament who supported passage of seven important bills on Thursday (January 20 2022).

He especially singled out Justice Minister Hon. Bryan Kramer for pushing through five bills, and many more since he became minister, despite not being a lawyer.

The other two were introduced by Commerce and Industry Minister Hon. William Samb.

Parliament sat for another three hours after Question Time to get the bills passed before Parliament adjourned until February 2022.

  1. Attorney-General (Amendment) Bill 2021;
  2. Claims By and Against the State (Amendment) Bill 2022;
  3. Family Protection (Amendment) Bill 2022;
  4. Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill 2022;
  5. On The Wrongs (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill 2022;
  6. Business Groups Incorporation (Amendment) Bill 2021; and
  7. Companies (Amendment) Bill 2021.

“I thank MPs from both sides of Parliament for their support of passage of these very-important bills,” PM Marape said.

“Parliament sat only for three days this week, however, there has been good debate and amendments of bills.

“I especially commend our hard-working Justice Minister, Hon. Bryan Kramer, for passage of five amendment bills today and many more since becoming minister, despite not being a lawyer.

“I am very impressed with the level of intelligent debate among our MPs.

“This shows that your Parliament is at work as the legislative arm of Government.”

AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS MARAPE’S CONNECT PNG PROGRAMME WITH SINGLE BIGGEST INVESTMENT FUNDING OF K1.48B FOR PNG PORTS

The governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia have signed an agreement worth USD435 million (AD580 million or PNGK1.48 billion) for Australia’s funding of the refurbishment and upgrade of ports in PNG.

The massive funding, to be executed through PNG Ports Corporation, is the biggest single investment by Australia in any sector and project in the history of the Australia Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP), Australia’s assistance programme for the region.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding took place on Friday, 21 January 2022, headed by the countries’ respective leaders – Prime Minister Hon. James Marape in Port Moresby and Prime Minister Hon. Scott Morrison in Sydney – and televised livestream.

Under the AIFFP, the funding is being given as a combination of grant and low-interest concessional loan. PNG Ports Corporation says the USD70 million component is being given as grant while the balance comes as a loan to be repaid over a 35-year period. A grace period of six years is allowed as an “availability period” during which time, PNG must draw down on the funding.

Minister for State Enterprises Hon. William Duma, while giving a breakdown of monies, said major work will go into Lae port (Lae Tidal Basin) worth A$120million, Kavieng port A$27million, Kimbe A$30million, Oro Bay A$30million, Vanimo A$29million, Wewak A$20million, Lorengau A$19million, while the balance will go into the purchase of pilot boats for all the ports and the upgrade of other port infrastructure.

The agreement is the progression of two earlier agreements signed in June 2021 and August 2020 between the two countries under the new Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP) that sets out the plans that Australia and PNG want to achieve together – among them the development of strategic, quality, high-impact infrastructure in PNG.

In Port Moresby, Prime Minister Marape opened the high-level gathering at APEC Haus after Minister Duma presented a brief overview of the breakdown before letting the floor open to his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Morrison, to comment on his country’s commitment and the remarkable bi-lateral friendship that exists between the two countries.

Prime Minister Marape thanked Prime Minister Morrison and Australia for their continuing support to PNG, not just in the maritime infrastructure sector – but in nearly all sectors including education, health, telecommunications, aviation, electrification and road development.

PM Morrison, in turn, gave credence to the efforts being undertaken by the Marape Government to connect rural PNG and economically empower its citizens.

He said: “You have brought the focus to where that support should go and this inspires a great deal of confidence in Australians – that the investment and support that we are giving is making a difference in the quality of life in PNG.

“As the support is put in place and economic opportunities are realised, the prosperity and the wellbeing of the people of PNG will rise. This has been about enabling and supporting the sovereignty, independence and self-sufficiency of PNG, and that has always been our absolute goal in all our intervention support and assistance.”

As the agreement gets operational, 30 percent of the monies will be used in the engagement of local contractors, meaning the injection of foreign capital into the country to help boost the PNG economy in this COVID-19 recovery period.

All port facilities in the country have been constructed by the Australian colonial administration in the ‘60s and ‘70s and have mostly fallen into disrepair because of lack of funding by PNG over the years, making this commitment by Australia a very important one because of the dependence of coastal PNG communities on shipping and PNG in its trade with the world.

The rehabilitation work by Australia directly complements Marape Government’s key economic driver policy, Connect PNG, which aims to achieve 100 percent connectivity of rural PNG by the year 2040 – something the Morrison Government has recognised and is acknowledging through this massive support.

PM MARAPE SAYS NADZAB, LAE AND MOROBE SET TO BOOM

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says Nadzab in the Markham Valley, Lae and Morobe are set to boom with sealing of Yalu Bridge-Nadzab Section of the Highlands Highway, opening of Nadzab International Airport and building of Nadzab Satellite City.

The Prime Minister said this today when announcing K400 million funding to complete the problematic Yalu-Nadzab section, and welcoming a statement by Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Hon. John Rosso, in Parliament on Tuesday January 18, 2022, on the new city.

The new-look airport, funded by the Japanese Government in partnership with the PNG Government, is nearing completion.

“Cabinet last week approved awarding of more than K1.4 billion of new road contracts throughout Papua New Guinea,” PM Marape said.

“The K1.4 billion worth of road contracts add to those already in place under the Marape Government’s signature ‘Connect PNG Programme’ for which about K1 billion has been expended over the last two years on roads throughout the country.

“Among these is K400 million for the Yalu Bridge-Nadzab four-lane highway.

“For more than 10 years, the people of Lae, Morobe and PNG have been complaining about the bad roads between Lae and Nadzab.

“I am well aware of your cries as I, on my many visits to Lae over the years, have driven through the mud and potholes.

“I can assure you that you will have one of the best roads in the country when the Yalu Bridge-Nadzab section is completed.

“People will be able to travel in comfort from Lae to Nadzab, and then get on an international flight, once the new international airport is completed.”

PM Marape said the new satellite city, an initiative of the National Government and Morobe Provincial Government, would transform Lae and Morobe.

He commended Lae MP Rosso for being in the forefront of this exciting project for Lae, Morobe and PNG.

“It is a timely intervention with the giant Wafi-Golpu Mine soon to come on stream,” he said.

“I welcome this satellite city development, where the private sector and super funds, will be major drivers in partnership with the State.

“Once completed, it will complement Nadzab International Airport, and will be timely with Wafi-Golpu and the major agri-business developments in the Markham Valley of Morobe and Ramu Valley of Madang.

“It will also provide home ownership for hundreds of Papua New Guineans.”