Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM MARAPE SAYS K794 MILLION NADZAB AIRPORT WILL BE ‘GAMECHANGER FOR LAE, MOROBE AND PNG’

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says the K794 million Nadzab Airport Redevelopment Project (NARP) will be “a gamechanger for Lae, Morobe and Papua New Guinea” when completed.

He said this today (August 18 2022) after publication of the latest update of the project by National Airports Corporation (NAC).

“The NARP is a high-impact Government project which is funded by the National Government through a soft loan from the Government of Japan through Japanese International Cooperation Agency,” PM Marape said

“The Japanese ODA Step Loan, PN-P11, was signed on October 15, 2015, for 26.942 billion Japanese Yen (K680 million) and counter-funded by GoPNG with K114 million.

“The NARP could have been completed earlier, but for several reasons, including lack of counterpart funding by the O’Neill government and the onset of COVID-19.

“According to the NAC, the NARP is 70 per cent completed, will be 90 per cent completed by the end of this year, and will be fully completed by April 2023.

“I thank the Japanese Government, the Japanese contractors who have built the airport to highest international standards and our very-own NAC for this world-class project which will enable international flights in and out of Lae.”

PM Marape said Nadzab in the Markham Valley, Lae, Morobe and PNG would boom with the NARP, sealing of Yalu Bridge-Nadzab Section of the Highlands Highway at a cost of K400 million, and building of Nadzab Satellite City.

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

“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 Deputy Prime Minister and Lae MP Hon. John 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,” PM Marape 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.”

PM MARAPE CONDEMNS BURNING OF BALLOT BOXES IN MENDI

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has condemned the burning of ballot boxes in the Mendi Police Station in Southern Highlands in the early hours of this morning (August 18 2022).

He has described those who did this as “constitutional terrorists” who would be hunted down by the full force of the law.

“I condemn the burning of ballot boxes in the Mendi Police Station in Southern Highlands early this morning,” PM Marape said.

“Those responsible are not ordinary arsonists, but ‘constitutional terrorists’, who can enter a police station and burn ballot boxes containing the votes of the people.

“This is State property and such an act is one of ‘terrorism’.”

PM Marape said he had already asked Police to go into Mendi, conduct an investigation and arrest those responsible.

“Those responsible must be brought to justice,” he said.

“People in Papua New Guinea cannot continue to take the law into their own hands forever.”

PM Marape said his Government’s No. 1 priority over the next five years from 2022 to 2027 would be law-and-order.

“Over the next five years, I will strengthen our police and justice system, as my Government gives its biggest attention to law-and-order,” he said,

“A secure and safer PNG in our towns and villages will ensure that our economy grows, will ensure the growth of health and education infrastructure, will ensure that our people get served better.

“We cannot allow lawlessness to continue to permeate the length and breadth of our country.

“I will, in the first instance, ensure that Southern Highlands, Hela, Enga and other hotspots are attended to at the very earliest.”

PM Marape also announced that a police team had been established to ensure that criminal charges were laid against all those who had engaged in illegal practices and election-related violence and offences.

“Police will get to work on this right across the country,” he said.

“This should serve as warning to those who continue to engage in such criminal acts that their reign of terror cannot continue forever.”

PM MARAPE WELCOMES SIGNING OF PORGERA SHAREHOLDER AGREEMENT

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has welcomed the signing of the Porgera Gold Mine shareholder agreement by Enga Provincial Government-owned Mineral Resources Enga (MRE) and landowners in Port Moresby today (August 18 2022).

He said it was a “milestone achievement” towards reopening of the Porgera mine which has been closed since 2019.

“The long-overdue reopening of the Porgera Gold Mine is finally in sight following today’s milestone achievement,” PM Marape said.

“I thank Enga Provincial Government, particularly Governor Hon. Sir Peter Ipatas, and Porgera landowners, led by their leader Nixon Mangape, for making this possible,

“Today’s agreement paves the way for the Development Forum and progression towards mine reopening at the earliest.”

PM MARAPE SAYS GOVERNMENT AND PANGU PATI APPRECIATES ROLE OF A FREE MEDIA

Prime Minister and Pangu Pati Leader Hon. James Marape says the Government and Pangu appreciates the role of a free media.

He, however, cautioned the media to stay away from political and personal preferences.

PM Marape said it was quite evident during the 2022 General Election that certain media houses were taking side with politicians, and political parties, and this did not reflect well on the media.

“My Government and Pangu Pati appreciates the role of a free media,” he said.

“Pangu gave that in 1975 to the country, and we will protect that freedom of media and speech.

“However, I caution the media to stay away from political and personal preferences, particularly to do with one particular political or political party.

“It was very obvious during the election that one particular media house was taking sides with one particular politician and political party.”

PM Marape said he was not one to control media as former prime minister Peter O’Neill was known for.

“Never once, during my first three years from 2019 to 2022, did I send my staff to the newsroom to pull out stories as Peter O’Neill was known for doing,” he said.

“I will continue to do that; however, I ask media to be fair in your reporting.

“I did not deport journalists as O’Neill deported Sir Mekere Morauta’s media advisor Mark Davis in 2013.”

PM Marape said media in Papua New Guinea had traditionally been among the strongest and most independent in the South Pacific, but press freedom had eroded somewhat in recent years.

“Freedoms of speech, the press, and information are guaranteed under Section 46 of the Constitution,” he said.

“This is something that I am very proud of.

“Journalists can be sued for defamation in civil cases, but it is not a criminal offense.”