Prime Minister Commends Milne Bay Leadership on K255 Million 2024 Budget

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape praised the exceptional leadership of Milne Bay Governor Hon. Gordon Wesley during the acceptance of the K255 million 2024 Milne Bay Provincial Budget on Monday. The budget underscores the government’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure development within the Milne Bay Province, aiming to secure a prosperous future for its residents.

Accompanying Governor Wesley at the ceremony were Samarai-Murua MP and Tourism Arts and Culture Minister Hon. Isi Henry Leonard, Esa’ala MP and Petroleum Minister Hon. Jimmy Maladina, along with Provincial Administrator Igo Gari, showcasing a united front in support of the province’s development goals.

The budget, totaling K254, 748, 400, was passed by the Milne Bay Provincial Assembly on February 9, 2024. It is structured around a theme of “Securing the Future Through Sustainable Infrastructure Development for Milne Bay Province,” and is supported by a combination of National Government Grants (K184, 049, 700), Internal Revenue (K34, 907,000), and 2023 Rollover Grants (K35, 791,700).

Prime Minister Marape, in his remarks, expressed his gratitude to Governor Wesley for his leadership, likening governors to “mini prime ministers” with significant autonomy, including the management of their provincial budgets. He also acknowledged the recent appointment of a competent provincial administrator and praised the efforts of Milne Bay ministers, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard and Hon. Jimmy Maladina, highlighting the potential for LNG exploration in Rabaraba and Esa’ala as well as the prospect of reopening the Misima and Woodlark mines.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Marape emphasised the government’s kina-for-kina support programme, which is in alignment with the outcomes of the Medium-Term Development Plan IV. He encouraged Milne Bay to leverage this opportunity, especially in the development of key educational institutions like a teachers’ college, a nursing college, and a maritime college, which are essential for the province’s long-term development and prosperity.

“The 2024 Milne Bay Provincial Budget represents a significant step forward in the sustainable development of the region, with the national government’s full support and commitment to ensuring that Milne Bay Province realises its full potential,” Prime Minister Marape said.