Want to find out more about Papua New Guinea? Try searching at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo and http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The PNG Business and Tourism Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com is also an excellent place to look for PNG information.
For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.google.com and then click on the find a map option. Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby. http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html
Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
I would like you to include two links on your gossip website. The first is our German Pacific Network -- http://www.pazifik-Infostelle.org, -- the second is the Bavarian Partner Church to the ELC-PNG. http://www.Missionswerk-Bayern.de. The Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Bavaria.
Em tasol, kind regards from Julia in Neuendettelsau/Germany
Aabon Holiday Units
For anyone traveling to Brisbane from PNG and looking for cheap accommodation then I recommend the Aabon Holiday units who have reasonably priced rooms available for one to many people. -- http://www.aabon.com.au -- for more information
The Australian Government maintains travel advisaries for all Australian citiziens at http://www.dfat.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Papua_New_Guinea - after reading that no one would want to visit PNG! From time to time the USA also issues warnings -- http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_996.html
PNG Embassy (USA)
The Embassy of Papua New Guinea in Washington, D.C. USA has a web site located at -- http://www.pngembassy.org
The Simberi Gold Project is on track. Simberi is located 75 Kilometres north west of the current Lihir Gold Mine and it is the northernmost island in the Tabar archipelago. It is estimated that there is 1448 millions ounces of gold on the island. An associated link -- http://www.nordpacific.com/np-nr20021204.html
The Milne Bay Tourism website can be found at -- http://www.milnebaytourism.gov.pg
Discover in Milne Bay the charm and beauty of a peace loving people blessed in abundance with natural environment of pristine waters and varied landforms, unique flora and fauna, vibrant cultures and living traditions.
While you are looking at Tourism websites do not forget the Papua New Guinea Tourism and Business Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com.
For everyone who has spent some time in PNG and knows the PNG culture I fully recommend the book called "Golden Years" by Keith Buxton. To find out more about the book please visit Keith's website at http://www.keithbuxton.com or write to PO Box 3102 Pallas Street Post Office, Maryborough Queensland 4650, Australia. The book costs AUD$26.00 per copy and postage within Australia is calculated as being AUD$7.00. Postage to PNG, Oceania, Asia and New Zealand is AUD$11.50. Postage to other parts of the world is AUD$15.00 per copy. Don't forget to let Keith know that you read about it in the PNG Gossip Newsletter.
State Sell Off
The PNG Government plans to sell certain non-core State assets including the Hargy Oil Palm Project in West New Britain and the PNG Forest Products, Higaturu Transport and Aquarius 21 Ltd to help raise K200 million to fund the 2003 Budget. The government will consider each sale separately and determine what course of action is to be taken depending on the value of the state entity and its importance in the fulfilment of community service obligations.
AusAID Funding of K55 million, for the Rabaul-Kokopo Road, has been cut by more than K35 million. The funds will be diverted to other roads in East New Britain and it will now be called the Gazelle Restoration Road Project. The Rabaul-Kokopo Road work should commence in early April.
Buka Ring Road
There are sceptics in Buka who are sick and tired of hearing promises about sealing the ring road around Buka. Bougainvilleans have heard about the upgrade and sealing for many years.
The new Japanese ambassador to PNG has met with the Governor General, Sir Silas Atopari. Katsuo Yamashita presented his credentials to the Governor General at a ceremony held at Government House recently.
One Stop Visa
A joint submission will be made to Cabinet for a one-stop location for individuals and companies who want to obtain work permits and visas. The various government bodies involved in granting a visa will be located in the one building at Tripoli Number Three located between Somare Foundation and Morauta House. Offices like the Investment Promotion Authority and Foreign Affairs and Immigration would be housed in this one building.
The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has heard that very senior officers including the former director of the Office of Rural Development (ORD) allegedly abused millions of Kina through shady contracts and blatant ignorance of set procedures in 2000. The Secretary for ORD has said that he was appalled at the things that had been happening in ORD before he took control recently.
Over 6000 village people from Madang have petitioned the National Government to remove all illegal settlements in the town. The people warned that if the government did not respond within seven days, they would mobilise and remove the illegal settlements. The Madang Governor, James Yali, accepted the petition on behalf of the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and assured the people that the National Executive Council will consider their demands.
A Kiunga - Aiambak landowner has said that logging operations in Western Province had caused serious environmental damage and health risks in the Lake Murray and Kiunga areas. The controversial road project between Kiunga and Aiambak has been said to be an illegal logging concession rather than a true road project to provide services to the people of Lake Murray and Kiunga area.
Up to 70 backbench MPs have petitioned Sir Michael Somare (Prime Minister) about being snubbed by his ministers. Sir Michael announced that he would amend the integrity law to have certain officers from the party come under the government payroll and fund MPs' electoral offices and staff an additional K4.2 million. The petition from the 70 MPs was related to Cabinet Ministers snubbing them and not making time to consider their electorates' needs.
The West Sepik Governor has called on any logging companies operating in his province to build proper roads and bridges before getting logs from the Amanab timber area. The Vanimo Forest Products has been operating for more than 13 years in the area and has not built any infrastructure like proper bridges, schools and aid posts to date. Any roads built have been temporary roads intended for the big logging trucks only.
The Central Bank (BPNG) has committed K1.5 million towards the funding of an endowment professor at the University of PNG. This will allow the university to concentrate on developing new courses critical to the best financial management practices in both the public and private sector.
The Public Accounts Committee has questioned the Lands Department over its fleet of vehicles.
The department has 26 vehicles - 25 of them in Port Moresby and one in Lae. According to the department's budget allocation for 2001, it was supposed to have 13 vehicles but it in fact had twice that number. Most of the vehicles are not registered with government plate numbers.
Highest PNG Population Density
A study has revealed that the Carterets Island, Bougainville has the highest population density in the country despite being one of the smallest islands. The population is currently 1200 and is increasing every year at five people per square kilometre. The islands are threatened by the ocean eroding the foreshore
Repairs to the Highlands Highway has been estimated to cost K200 million. The PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd has been approached by the Somare-Marat government to consider funding repairs to the deteriorating highway.
The 48th Graduation of students from the University of PNG -- http://www.upng.ac.pg -- has seen almost 700 students graduate.
The 35th Graduation of students from the University of Technology will be held on the 28th of March 2003 at UniTech in Lae. -- http://www.unitech.ac.pg
Ela Beach Sea Park
The Speaker of Parliament, Bill Skate, has initiated an ambitious plan to redevelop the Ela Beach Sea Park and part of Paga Hill into an amusement centre estimated to cost between K6-K8 million. The park would be funded by outside sources and an internationally renowned project management company has already started the feasibility study and expects to have it completed in the next three weeks. It has been proposed to have a 300-metre water slide down the side of Paga Point into Ela Beach. The original Sea Park failed many years ago because of many reasons. One fact being that it was too expensive for the average PNG citizen to visit.
Police in Buka have been handed a counterfeit K50 note. It is believed that the note was widely used in Bougainville. Police are now investigating to determine if any more notes exist.
Mary Karo has taken over the reigns of Eda Ranu the company responsible for supplying water to Port Moresby. The former People's National Congress president become the managing director at Eda Ranu. The former acting managing director Bill Imar is now general manager.
User Pays Policy
The new Eda Ranu board would like to see all users of water paying. This would mean that settlers and villages would have to comply with user-pays policy in water services. This step, it is hoped, would see the company move from just breaking even to making profits so it can pay dividends to the State. Of a total 165 million litres of treated water produced from the Mt Eriama Treatment Plant over 30 million litres is not paid for.
West New Britain
The damage bill for the recent floods in Bialla, West New Britain are estimated to cost the provincial government about K1 million. All bridges along the Ulamona and Bialla highway had been washed away by the continuous flooding.
The people in flood affected Bialla need drinking water as sources of drinking water such as creeks and rivers were no longer safe for drinking due to the continuous mudflow.
The Wheelchair Foundation in California has arrived in the country to shoot a video about the distribution of 240 wheelchairs around PNG. The donation, made through Boroko Rotary and the Friends of the Disabled will be initially distributed in Port Moresby, Wewak and some in local Motuan Villages around Moresby.
The price of fuel has risen again even before the effects of the war in Iraq have had a chance to influence the pricing structure!
Petrol (Motor Spirit) has increased by 9 toea a litre (K2.11)
Diesel up 8 toea a litre (K1.73)
Kerosene up 6.7 toea a litre (K1.46)
Cops or Robbers?
A gang of robbers dressed as cops has been going around Port Moresby robbing business premises. Several stores in Waigani and Gerehu had been robbed by the gang. Even the Port Moresby Golf Club has been struck by the gang.
Port Moresby Hospital
The Port Moresby General Hospital has reopened all its facilities after the Government came good with financial support of K458,000. The money was supposed to have been received by the hospital for the months of February and March. Inpatients were sent home on recently following the scaling down of operations due to the cash flow problems. It is hoped that the money for April and the remaining months is distributed on time well before the hospital has take further drastic measures.
PNG and neighbouring Indonesia have agreed to address the growing problem of illegal businesses sprouting up on no-man's land on the PNG side of the border. It is understood that the stores are being funded by Indonesians on land owned by the Papua New Guineans.
Port Moresby Roadwork
The PNG government has committed K2.7 million towards restarting the roadworks in the city of Port Moresby. The roadworks were abandoned by Curtain Brothers and Global Construction for outstanding payments. The National Capital District Commission will have to come up with the balance of K33 million owed. Residents have had to cope with half completed road works for almost half a year - roadworks that have only become worse during the wet season.
Mubi River, Southern Highlands
The Foe people of Nipa/ Kutubu, in the Southern Highlands Province are demanding compensation of K85 million from the Government for environmental damage along the fast-flowing Mubi River.
The demands stem from the construction of a Bailey bridge across the River in 1992, which caused environmental damage.
The Minister for Communications and Information, Ben Semri, has been unseated as Middle Ramu MP yesterday by the Court of Disputed Returns. Justice Salamo Injia declared petitioner and former MP Tommy Tomscoll the duly elected MP for the area. This is the second minister to have their election results annulled by the Court of Disputed Returns in the past month.
The Agriculture and Livestock Minister, Moses Maladina, has been appointed as acting Minister for Information and Communication. This follows the Court of Disputed Returns' decision dethroning the Minister for Information and Communication as Member for Middle Ramu.
The Porgera Joint Venture (PJV) in Enga provinces would like to see a viable economy still functioning at Porgera after the mine closes in 2012. Some of the landowners would like to see a hotel or lodge built in the area to help generate income after the mine is gone.
The Chairman of the Angau Memorial General Hospital Board in Lae has announced that the hospital has been awarded a four-star compliance rating. The survey used to rate the hospital looks at six categories, including patient care, improving performance, management and information, leadership and management, human resource management and environment. The maximum the hospital could get was five stars.
Kainantu, Eastern Highlands
The Mobil service station in Kainantu has reopened after being close for three years. It is now being run by Highlands Food Supplies Ltd. The convenience store and kai-bar will also re-open for business.
It has been reported that the Royal PNG Constabulary will start training young adults to provide security for tourists visiting the country. It is hoped that this is concept helps to rejuvenate the mindsets of the young PNG generation so they can participate in meaningful social and economic development. The concept will provide employment opportunities for the young men and women and help reduce the national crime rate.
Bougainville's provincial vessel, the MV Sankamap, is once again at sea and on its way to Rabaul after threats to impound it for non-payment of bills. The vessel purchased to service the many small atolls owed Mobil more than K70,000 for fuel. One of Bougainville's major fishing companies, Nuku Marine Resources, rescued the vessel by paying K35,000.
The Prime Minister has said that people in PNG have the right choose the religion they wish to follow whether that be Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam or others.
The Bougainville Resistance Force has submitted a claim for K7.5 million to the Finance and Treasury Department for services rendered during the Bougainville crisis. This has come about after angry resistance force members threatened to halt stage three of the Bougainville weapons disposal if the government did not settle the claim.
Wewak - Maprik Road
A contract has been let for the gravelling of the 75km Wewak to Maprik Road at a cost of K15 million. The re-gravelling will be funded by the Australian Government.
Jubilee Secondary School
Armed men have attempted to break into the Jubilee Secondary School at Hohola. The school's chaplain, Father John Glynn, said the incident happened around two in the morning when a group of men attacked the school. The school had been without telephones for almost five months but only recently the phone service was restored and the school was able to call the police for assistance.
A breakout of a total eight prisoners at Biru Jail, Popondetta has been blamed on a lack of alertness by prison officers at the jail. Four prisoners escaped some weeks ago and were followed by another four recently.
- Post Courier Newspaper -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg
- The National Online Newspaper-- http://www.thenational.com.pg
- PNG Tok Pisin Network-- http://www.tokpisin.net
- Chin H Meen (Music) -- http://www.chmsupersound.com
- EM TV (Television) -- http://www.emtv.com.pg
- Hitron (Cable TV) -- http://www.hitron.com.pg
- Pacific View Multimedia -- http://www.pvm.com.pg
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In Tok Pisin - em tasol
For other ways of saying the end please pay a visit to http://pnggossip.com/emtasol
Some of the ways of saying "that's all" are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. -- http://www.unitech.ac.pg
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