Prime Ministers Media Releases

PM Marape extends condolence to people of China as PNG prepares for Coronavirus threat

The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP, extends his condolence and sympathy to the family and relatives of those who lost their lives to the Coronavirus (2019-nCov) in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The Prime Minister extended his condolence and sympathy as Papua New Guinea authorities, led by the National Department of Health and in close collaboration with the World Health Organization mobilizes manpower of health professionals to enable mechanisms already put in place to manage such threats in the country.

The Prime Minister said the WHO has now declared the 2019-nCov as a global emergency and as Papua New Guinea’s geographical position puts it at a high risk area, the National Department of Health is keeping a close eye on the situation through situation reports they receive from the WHO twice, weekly.

All Nationalities wishing to travel to Papua New Guinea from Wuhan, Hebei Province will not be uplifted further notice and person(s) travelling in from affected countries are encouraged to get medical clearance before travelling to Papua New Guinea.

At this time, there is no reported case(s) in the country and the NDoH has now set screening stations at the airport for passengers arriving from countries that are affected by the virus, all vessels coming through the sea ports will be redirected to Port Moresby for screening before continuing to their destinations and screenings will also be done at our land border with Indonesia, Prime Minister Marape said.

“People who are travelling in from not only China, especially from Wuhan, the epic centre of the 2019-nCov, via other ports and other countries that have reported cases as well or are experiencing respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties are encouraged to call into the NDoH Help desk or screening station for further assistance or call the hotline (+675) 7196 0813.

The NDoH has a rapid response team on standby to take you to a hospital for thorough screening and treatment of the symptoms.

People who do not show symptoms at this time are encouraged self-isolate for 14 days and give your details to the team at the airport, seaports or border posts so that the rapid response team can do twice weekly checks on you during your 14 days of isolation.

If you have not given your details to the screening teams at the airport, sea ports and land border stations, call the NDoH hotline for assistance.

Should we have a severe case in the country, the rapid response team will be deployed to take the affected person to be quarantined and treated at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

The Prime Minister further added that the Government is also very much concerned about Papua New Guinea citizens either living, studying or working in affected countries around the world therefore the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have set up a help desk to assist families in Papua New Guinea find out what is happening on the ground.

He said the Department is maintaining contact with those who are in China through the PNG Embassy and the Embassy of China here in Port Moresby.

Prime Minister Marape said this is a totally new virus and as yet to reach PNG shores, the World Health Organization is working with medical research institutions all over the world to understand it and start to put in place measures to stop it spreading and taking lives, Papua New Guineans, residents and visitors are encourage to practice good hygiene and educate their children to practice it as well.

Frequently wash your hands after ablutions, before your eat, when your use your hand to cover your mouth to sneeze or cough and cover your mouth with a cloth or elbow when coughing or sneezing, he said.

The Prime Minister said because the virus is new, current measures in place by the NDoH and WHO will evolve as technical experts understand more about the virus.


31st January 2020

I am very disappointed to announce that, because of Exxon Mobil’s unwillingness to agree to reasonable terms in line with other international gas projects, the State’s Negotiating Team (SNT) has been unable to agree with Exxon Mobil on a Gas Agreement to underpin the development of the P’nyang gas field.

In good faith, PNG has extended the negotiation deadline to reach a mutually beneficial deal a number of times. At the same time the SNT has indicated a willingness to make significant concessions if Exxon Mobil was prepared to do the same, however, Exxon Mobil’s final offer was delivered yesterday, only one day before the final deadline and this contained no such concessions.

After several months of dedication and good faith engagement by the SNT, Exxon Mobil’s offer had barely changed from its opening offer presented last November and is not substantially different from the Papua LNG Gas Agreement.

That is unacceptable.

The gas belongs to PNG’s people. We are willing to allow international oil companies to develop the field and achieve decent returns by exporting most of the gas, but PNG must also benefit. It is hugely disappointing that our negotiation partners will not  agree to such terms.

Our position has not, and will not, change. Naturally, every new project must build on previous projects with improved terms for PNG, particularly when the initial terms provided by PNG were so generous. That is a normal progression in nations as successive projects are approved and developed. We insist that this also occurs in PNG.

The “State take” proposed by project partners was significantly less than our APAC neighbours such as Malaysia, where Exxon Mobil has a huge operation, or indeed by our immediate neighbours Indonesia and Brunei. It is at the lower end of the estimated State take for nations around the world published by several authorities on the matter, such as Wood Mackenzie, Daniel Johnson and Co and the Boston Consulting Group.

It is simply not reasonable for PNG to accept this.

PNG is a developing nation where less than one in five people have access to electricity. We need funds and resources to address this and other fundamental development issues. The terms we proposed to Exxon Mobil were fair, ensuring PNG benefits from the project while the international oil companies made decent returns. Our proposals were rejected as these companies tried to extract even more profit for themselves.

In reality the only progress made by Exxon Mobil over the last three months was on fundamental issues underpinning such agreements that would usually not be contentious, such as: agreeing to put milestones in place to ensure P’nyang is actually developed and not “warehoused” by Exxon Mobil and its partners; that the Development License will be considered by the Minister through the normal regulatory process; and that any agreement would use PNG’s template agreement as a basis for negotiation for development of PNG’s own gas, not one imposed by Exxon Mobil. All of these things reflect standard international practice.

Further, despite the SNT making it clear they were willing to negotiate fiscal issues, Exxon Mobil has not been willing to make any significant fiscal concessions beyond the initial terms they proposed in November, despite these terms being well below international standards for these developments.

In summary, Exxon Mobil proposed a deal that was ‘out-of-the-money’ for PNG.

We know the world is watching. PNG continues to welcome international investment and is keen to work with global partners as we develop our nation and seek economic growth that will fairly share the rewards from exporting our resources to allow us to improve our people’s quality of life. We don’t believe the last offer made by Exxon Mobil would have done that, so we have stopped negotiations at this stage to allow us to concentrate on developments already in the pipeline.


Prime Minister


The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP, says there is still need for improvement in the Public Service, as we work together to move Papua New Guinea forward.

He made these remarks whilst addressing public servants at the 2020 Public Service Dedication and the launching of all GoPNG Annual Operation Plans (AOPs), in Port Moresby, this morning.

He said the Marape-Steven Government aims to reform our Public Service, and we encourage public servants to come forward and contribute in any way possible, to improve our public service mechanism.

We are starting to honour the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) adjustments, with incentive- based measures.

We will put in place better ways where performance is based on KPIs, through a contract- based agreement.

This Government is committed in assisting you, as you contribute in moving the country forward, with dedication, devotion and passion, PM Marape announced.

He said today we must rise up to the true calling of the public service and perform to the best of our abilities.

This Government is now looking at reforming the public service structure, implementing ways where we will measure your ability based on your contract, in order to ensure the right people are working.

He further urged the Department of Personnel Management to take stock of Public Service General Orders and ensure five year contracts are established for every public servant – from the top down to the lowest position.

This is expected to be the biggest reform in the public service system, based on performance.

This Government is cognizant in meeting the needs of our public servants; hence you must also be cognizant in your performance, in the public service.

Our public service system is like the human body. For instance, if you take away the eyes or any body part, for that matter, from the public service - it will not be able function well. And similarly, we are all part of this public service body.

This will be the greatest reform in the public service mechanism, in contributing to the successful way, progressing into the future,” PM Marape said.

He said we want to make available and allocate land as performance-based incentives to you – the public servants, who contribute largely in revenue, through personal income tax.

Personal Income Tax is currently our leading revenue-maker instead of corporate income tax.

We will free up land for every public servant and missionary, who have rightfully served our country, PM Marape said.

He urged each public servant not to procrastinate, saying every delay is a delay in the progress of our country.

I look forward to another progressive year 2020, with the Government objective to improve our public service mechanism, PM Marape concluded.


The Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape, MP, today thanked the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission for the final report on the Review of the Organic Law on National and Local Level Government Elections, presented to him by the Chairman, Hon. Robert Atiyafa.

This report is based on the constitutional directive of the Governor-General to review the Provincial and Local Level Governments Elections.

The review was established in 2018 by the then O’Neill-Abel Government, directing the Constitutional and Law Reform Commission to review the Organic Law on National and LLG Elections and propose some legislative reforms aimed at improving the way we run elections in our country to ensure that the elections are free and fair, where our people are given absolute guarantee of freedom to choose leaders through voting.

In receiving the report from the CLRC Chairman, PM Marape said he was grateful for the effort put into by all members of the agencies, who have travelled throughout the country to review this law, based on consultation with the people of Papua New Guinea.

You have listened to our people, studied and compared the existing electoral system; but basically, it is entirely what works for us.

Having elections is a democratic principle, but how to manage the elections including the systems and processes varies from country to country, depending on individual local circumstances and resources, PM Marape said.

He acknowledged that the recommendations contained in this final report reflects the views of our people from all 22 provinces, and will not only improve our electoral laws, systems and processes, but more importantly, restore the confidence of our people in the system.

Our people have lost confidence and this is our opportunity to restore that.

One of the reform proposals in this report is for the Government to immediately invest in adopting a biometrics voter registration; ensuring only one person is registered using their fingerprint against a name – limiting the scope of electoral fraud.

Our electoral system must be fixed now and not later, PM Marape said.

The report also contains overwhelming information collected from PNG citizens, who have contributed so many ideas on how best the electoral process should work.

He said he would bring the report before Cabinet for deliberation and then on to Parliament to be tabled, at the earliest time possible.

The committee comprising of agencies include the Electoral Commission, the Office of Integrity of Political Parties and Candidate Commission (IPPCC), the Department of Prime Minister & NEC, the Department of Justice & Attorney-General (DJAG), the Department of provincial& Local Government Affairs (DPLGA) and the State Solicitor’s Office.