Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has expressed his satisfaction at the ongoing success of the PNG LNG project on the anniversary of the beginning of LNG production in Papua New Guinea one year ago last week.
He said the PNG LNG project is testament to the strong working relationships between key stakeholders that saw the project delivered on budget and ahead of time.
"The PNG LNG Project has faced many challenges since its inception, but through determination and partnership the construction phase was completed and production began one year ago," O'Neill said.
"We congratulate our partners, particularly ExxonMobil PNG Limited, for their tireless support for this project, and landowners in affected areas for actively engaging in this process and reaching agreement.
"The production of LNG in Papua New Guinea is one of the most important developments in our history and the benefits will be felt for decades.
"During the production phase more than 10,000 Papua New Guineans were employed and they expanded their own skills and capacity.
"This project is also an example of the investment and business opportunity in Papua New Guinea today.
"A number of other substantial projects are being developed around the nation, and as I stated yesterday during my visit to the Antelope Wellhead 5, we offer the same commitment and better as we engage with our stakeholders."
The Prime Minister said that the first full year of production was an important milestone in the ongoing development of the nation.
"2015 is a defining year for Papua New Guinea as our country moves on from the problems of the past to a future that is bright.
"In our 40th year of independence we are seeing change and improvement in the delivery of services for our people.
"We are building new classrooms and more children are going to school, we are making healthcare truly universal, improving law and order and building the infrastructure we need for a stable economy.
"These key areas or economic activity have been made possible because of the approach our country now takes to economic management and business development.
"The PNG LNG project is a very important part of the Papua New Guinea business success story."
Sunday, May 03, 2015
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has expressed his satisfaction at the ongoing success of the PNG LNG project on the anniversary of the beginning of LNG production in Papua New Guinea one year ago last week.
Saturday, May 02, 2015
Prime Minister's Media
Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has welcomed the 10th Successor of Don Bosco, Rector Major, Fr Angel Fernandez Artime, SDB, and his delegation from Rome, to Papua New Guinea on Thursday.
At a reception dinner held at the Don Bosco Technological Institute in Port Moresby on Thursday, PM O'Neill said on behalf of the Government and people of Papua New Guinea, "I warmly welcome Fr Angel Fernandez Artime and his delegation from Rome.
"I would like to express our appreciation of the good work Don Bosco Technological Institute continues to do in our country," the Prime Minister said.
"What the Churches are or have been doing for many years, illustrates the importance in guiding our men and women to improve their lives and careers."
He acknowledged that Don Bosco had been at the forefront in providing skills and education to many of our citizens for many years.
"Recently our government announced the Church-partnership program, which is providing many good opportunities in our communities.
"Our government has also embarked on an education programme through free education, adding an additional one million children into schools throughout the country.
"However, that would not have been achieved without the support of our church-funded institutions like Don Bosco, and we appreciate the support and the work that they continue to do."
The Prime Minister said ongoing economic growth, the nation needed a more skilled workforce into the future that could ensure that growth continued.
"Don Bosco's contribution to training our workforce and improving the capacity of our youth is immensely valued.
"This is a partnership that we critically value – a partnership we want to continue to strengthen.
"Therefore, I am giving you my absolute assurance and commitment, that this government will continue to support the good work that Don Bosco is doing under the Catholic denomination and further support other churches as well.
The Rector Major and his delegation will be visiting Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands from April 30 to May 5, to commemorate the Bicentenary (1815-2015) of Fr Don Bosco's birth.
Friday, May 01, 2015
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has called on individuals who might be tempted to be involved in drug crime to think twice or ruin the rest of their lives.
O'Neill made the comments in response to media requests following recent drug crime stories in the national media.
"In relation to recent arrests in Indonesia of Papua New Guineans on charges of drug possession, it would not be appropriate to comment as these matters are due to appear before the courts," the Prime Minister said.
"Papua New Guinea is providing consular support to those who have been arrested and we will continue to monitor the situation."
"In relation to the broader issue of drug smuggling, be this is Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia or any other country, I have a simple message. Anyone considering transporting illegal drugs must be prepared for the consequences, and these consequences are serious.
"In the ASEAN region in particular the penalties for drug smuggling are very strong, and everyone travelling to these countries knows what a serious crime it is to have or carry drugs.
"The signs are posted at immigration entry points and information is read out on arriving flights. Travellers are warned that these countries have very strict drug laws, and drug trafficking carries a mandatory death penalty and this is also applied to foreigners.
"Improvements in law enforcement around the region means that there is a much greater chance now that drug smugglers will be caught.
"People who get involved in this illegal activity can expect to be arrested, convicted and given a serious sentence."
The Prime Minister called for vigilance and awareness in families and communities to work together and with the Government to deal with drug problems.
"Drug abuse is a dark cloud over society all around the world and every day countless numbers of people die and families are broken.
"The Government is working through law enforcement agencies and with community organisations including our churches to deal with these issues
"It takes a community effort from everyone to work together to try to prevent people from taking drugs, while at the same time finding and arresting those who are involved with drug crime."
Monday, March 09, 2015
Fisheries Minister Hon Mao Zeming says Lae is a growing city that must have an authority take charge of maintaining infrastructure and delivering its municipal services.
Zeming attended the special Tutumang session in Lae on Thursday, and his prepared remarks were incorporated into Tutumang's Hansard.
The Tewai-Siasssi MP said Lae's strategic location was importance to the nation and its economic growth.
"It is Papua New Guinea's manufacturing centre. It hosts the nation's largest sea port facility.
"It is the gateway to the nation's multi-billion kina mineral and hydro-carbon projects located in our own province and the highlands region, like Harmony Gold in Morobe and the PNG LNG Project in the Hela province."
But he said before the National Government's intervention in 2012, Lae's roads were deteriorating, gabbage collection was non-existent, street lights destroyed, and businesses struggling to cope.
The city's parks and recreational areas were no longer there.
"All these was happening under the nose of the Morobe Provincial Government, the Lae Urban LLG, and some of the leaders who are spreading misinformation about the proposed city authority," Zeming said.
He said in 2012, the O'Neill/Dion Government acted quickly to restore Lae city.
"The government has allocated over K200 million to upgrade and seal Lae city roads. Many of you can see the result as you drive around the city.
"The government is spending about K300 million to upgrade the Lae-Nadzab road and make turn it into a four-lane highway. Work has already begun on stage one of this project
"Phase 1 of the Lae Tidal Basin Development project has been completed. And Phase 2 is now underway. This K700 million project will transform our port service and ensure business efficiency not only in Lae but everywhere else.
"Over K35 million is being spent to redevelop Angau Hospital. Go to the hospital and see how we have changed the outpatient and the children's ward.
"For the future, the new Angau Hospital will be built for close to K1.6 billion in partnership with the Australian Government.
"The National Airport Corporation is completing a feasibility study to upgrade the Nabzab Airport so it is accorded international airport status.
"This will give us an opportunity to create a township near or around this facility, creating a business hub and providing opportunities for locals there.
"All these development are for the good of Lae city, its residents, Morobe and the rest of PNG. But it cannot happen in a vacuum.
"Lae city needs an authority to oversee these development, to maintain an efficient and effective municipal service in partnership with the Lae Urban LLG and the Ahi LLG, and the Morobe Provincial Government.
"The authority will not undermine or overtake the responsibilities of these entities."
Mr Zeming said he was pleased the Tutumang has agreed to review the proposed Act, and where possible, amendments will be considered.
"What I can assure you is the Lae City Authority is not being created as a power base for anyone."
Saturday, January 17, 2015
|Second-hand shop attendant Eniston Garry showing off the range of books at Waigani Clothes Mart.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
“The books which you can buy here, including those by some very well-known authors, are very low in price as compared to regular bookshops,” he tells me.
“It’s very cheap so some of us can buy here.
“There are lots of educational books available, and very cheap.”
Sandari said his parents were strong Christians, who discouraged their children from watching television and Face book, so he and his siblings read a lot.
“Our parents don’t allow us to watch TV and all that stuff so we read a lot,” he said.
“I think Facebook is affecting a lot of kids in their studies.
“My dad’s a real estate worker while my mum stays at home.
“We used to live in Wewak before coming here.
“Our parents are Christians.
“They believe that watching a lot of TV, Facebook, and all that stuff makes our brains go to sleep.”
|Pineapple grower Osely Kila (centre) with his business partners Zachariah Peter and David Tom selling their fruits .-Picture by MALUM NALU|
“Stealing is not a good thing.”
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Prime Minister's Media
Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill has condemned the tragic loss of life that has occurred in the series of terror-related incidents in France over recent days.
He has further conveyed heartfelt sympathy on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea to the people of France at this difficult time.
"We are shocked and saddened by the attack that occurred in Paris on Wednesday that was followed by hostage situations overnight," O'Neill said.
"In a world that today seems so full of violence, the thoughts and prayers of Papua New Guineans are with the families of the victims of these attacks, and with the French people at this time of distress and deep sadness."
The Prime Minister said the attack at the start of the crisis on the office of the magazine Charlie Hebdo was particularly alarming and had deep implications for freedom of expression around the world.
"I know our media fraternity in Papua New Guinea will be acutely aware of this horrific attack, and will lament the tragic loss of their international colleagues.
"Free speech underpins our way of life in free countries.
"These are terrible and callous acts of violence and we hope that perpetrators who remain at large are brought to justice as soon as is possible."
Friday, January 09, 2015
By ABC Papua New Guinea correspondent Liam Cochrane
|Photo: Peter O'Neill initially welcomed the public prosecutor's request for a Leadership Tribunal. (ABC)|
The prime minister denies any wrongdoing.
His legal team, led by Queensland QC Mal Varitimos, argued that the public prosecutor exceeded his powers in the way he referred the matter for tribunal and therefore the tribunal has no jurisdiction.
"I conclude that, yes, the questions should be referred to the Supreme Court," Justice David Cannings said.
"Indeed I am obliged to refer them."
A leadership tribunal is an ad hoc body that has the power to dismiss, suspend or fine leaders found guilty of misconduct.
Several members of parliament were referred to leadership tribunals without challenge last year.
In Mr O'Neill's case, the public prosecutor requested more information from the ombudsman and subsequently changed the allegations of misconduct.
Justice Cannings ordered an interim injunction on the tribunal while the Supreme Court considers whether the public prosecutor's actions were constitutional.
"The sitting of the second defendant [the retired Australian, New Zealand and PNG judges on the leadership tribunal] scheduled for 26 January 2015 at 9.30am is vacated," Justice Cannings said
The leadership tribunal is separate to accusations of official corruption against the prime minister.
Mr O'Neill was served with an arrest warrant in June in relation to a fraud case by the country's anti-corruption body.
He is also challenging those allegations in court.
The former Australian colony of Papua New Guinea has become an increasingly important ally for Canberra, hosting the Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre and receiving $517 million in aid this year.
If you’re a farmer in California, you might even dabble in it to save your harvest from drought.
But on the island of New Guinea, the unexpected often turns up — and it can be deadly.
Unlike the pro surfers that went hunting for untouched waves in West Papua and found a government-waged genocide instead, the growing crisis in Papua New Guinea centers on self-inflicted violent witch hunts within the nation’s rural citizenry.
Men and woman alike have fallen victim to these attacks, though women are the more common victims in one of the most-violent places for females in the world.
A Doctors Without Borders (MSF) report found that 67% of women in PNG said that they had been beaten by a spouse.
Anton Lutz, a Lutheran missionary working in PNG’s problematic highlands, claims that at least two dozen women have been killed in the past few years over accusations of witchcraft and evil sorcery. In the Simbu region alone, roughly 150 attacks take place annually, leaving up to a third of the region’s population displaced.
Today’s problem dates back to 1971 when PNG codified belief in witchcraft into law, recognising the “widespread belief throughout the country that there is such a thing as sorcery, and sorcerers have extra-ordinary powers that can be used sometimes for good purposes but more often bad ones,” exempting “innocent sorcery” for protection from the legal punishment for “forbidden sorcery.”
It was a step in the right direction, but it didn’t actually address the root causes of these attacks, which remain unaddressed.
Most of PNG’s population, some 80%, live outside of urban centres.
But instead of seeing their acts as primitive savagery, they should instead be understood as a consequence of things that affect much of the rural developing world: a dire lack of access to education and healthcare.
In an interview with Vice, missionary Franco Zocca said, “When you say sorcery-related killings, people — 95% — think other people were killed by sorcerers.
"The mentality is always that nobody dies for nothing.
"There is always a who — either a spirit of somebody or a magician — behind the death.”
With poor education, many simply don’t understand the science behind medical issues that befall humans naturally.
Blaming some vague evil concocted by other people, particularly those living on the fringes of their communities, then becomes the only viable explanation.
What is worst about all of this is the simple fact that it could remedied with greater access to basic healthcare.
Fewer people ailing and dying would mean less cause to blame witchcraft and sorcery.
Fixing these core issues would require that a portion of the wealth from the nation’s unprecedented mining boom be doled out to its impoverished rural residents.
As we’ve seen in so much of the developing world, that just hasn’t been the case.
It is believed he could have been attacked with a sharp object and left to bleed to death.
On Tuesday night, his son, Mr Tan Sio Wei, left Singapore for Papua New Guinea and was scheduled to arrive in Lae on Wednesday to identify his body.
He was informed about the death on Sunday and told The Straits Times: "Police said he could have been murdered, that's why I can't comment on the case."
The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of the case and is in touch with the deceased's family.
Mr Tan, a businessman based in Singapore, said he and his three sisters are keeping the news from their elderly mother.
The late Mr Tan was supposed to travel to the country's capital, Port Moresby, on Sunday afternoon.
He was discovered dead by his driver, who called the police after noticing that the fly-wire mesh covering the back door to his apartment had been ripped off.
Police had difficulty entering the house and a locksmith was called to open the door.
They told reporters that the deceased was home alone when he was attacked from behind with a sharp object and left to bleed to death.
Mr Tan said his father lived with an employee who was apparently not at home when the attack took place.
Mr Tan said his father had been based in Papua New Guinea for more than 20 years, though his family remained in Singapore.
He lived in a high-security residential area in Hibiscus Avenue in Eriku, a suburb in the industrial city of Lae.
His company - which supplies school and office stationery, sports equipment, trophies and furniture - was also located in Lae, in Morobe Province.
The incident is one of five killings in the city this year, including the shooting of a woman on New Year's Day.
|Traditional Baining fire dancers in Papua New Guinea. Photo courtesy of WikiCommons.|
It could be, but in my research I didn't really find gangs going out and killing the sorcerers, because they're always people from the home of the accused. For the police, a part of [the problem] is they are afraid to deal with sorcery. But apart form that there are no witnesses. Nobody wants to talk. It's very much the locals who are doing it with the collusion of the whole community.
The government has tried to deter witch-hunts by repealing the 1976 Sorcery Act, which witch hunters used to defend their actions in court, and by reinstating capital punishment [out of use since 1954]. But it doesn't seem to be having a great effect... The government, yeah, they repealed the law under the pressure of the international media, but without much conviction. You cannot change a cultural mentality like that just by repealing a law. To change the mentality—to accept natural causes of death over spiritual ones—would stop this. It happened also in Europe. We killed lots of witches in the Middle Ages, and then finally we accepted the natural causes of sickness and death. Then witch hunting stopped.
The stock traded as low as $42.63 and last traded at $42.97, with a volume of 461,196 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $44.52.
A number of analysts have recently weighed in on IOC shares.
Analysts at Zacks upgraded shares of InterOil from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 24.
They now have a $54.10 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Goldman Sachs initiated coverage on shares of InterOil in a research note on Thursday, December 18.
They set a “buy” rating and a $69.50 price target on the stock.
One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock.
InterOil presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $70.90.
The stock has a 50-day moving average of $52.34 and a 200-day moving average of $55.93.
The company has a market cap of $2.120 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.71.
InterOil (NYSE:IOC) last released its earnings data on Friday, November 14.
The company reported ($0.34) EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of ($0.51) by $0.17.
The company had revenue of $10.75 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $308.00 million.
During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted ($0.13) earnings per share.
The company’s quarterly revenue was down 98.3% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that InterOil will post $-1.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.
InterOil Corporation (NYSE:IOC) is an integrated energy company operating in Papua New Guinea and the surrounding Southwest Pacific region.
Dr Laman said since malaria parasites developed resistance to chloroquine years ago, the race had been on to find new ways of beating the disease. Combination treatments using artemisinin (originally extracted from the wormwood plant) or its derivatives and longer-acting chloroquine-like drugs such as piperaquine or lumefantrine had been found to be effective but not 100 per cent so.
Dr Laman said in PNG and in many other countries there were different types of malaria, which further complicated treatment regimes. The most dangerous form was falciparum while the least dangerous was vivax. Both affected children, who bore the brunt of the disease.
Dr Laman said he and his colleagues, including his supervisor Professor Tim Davis, decided to test the efficacy of the currently recommended treatment, artemether-lumefantrine, against that of the novel combination artemisinin-naphthoquine. They recruited 250 PNG children aged from six months to five years who had fevers related to one or other kinds of malaria but did not have serious symptoms.
Half of the children were given artemisinin-naphthoquine, but the researchers ignored the manufacturer's guidelines which suggested using it in a single one-day dose and instead gave it over three days as recommended by WHO, while closely monitoring the children's health and following up on their progress six months later.
They found that artemisinin-naphthoquine over three days was not only safe but was a far better treatment than artemether-lumefantrine for vivax malaria, with 100 per cent of the children free of infection after treatment. The researchers also found it was as good as artemether-lumefantrine for the potentially deadly falciparum malaria.
Dr Laman was supported by an AusAid scholarship and the trial was funded through an NHMRC project grant.
"Dr Laman has an impressive CV (including a Third World Academy of Science young affiliate award) and his work is an excellent example of a longstanding and productive collaboration between UWA School of Medicine and Pharmacology and the PNG Institute of Medical Research," Professor Davis said.
Media referencesDr Moses Laman (UWA School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Unit) (+61 4) 98 648 430
Professor Tim Davis (Head, UWA School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Unit) (+61 8) 9431 3229
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716