By ISAAC NICHOLAS in The National,
THE Hela and Jiwaka people’s dream for their own separate provinces became a reality yesterday when Parliament voted 83-1 for the two new provinces to be carved out from Southern Highlands and
Provincial Affairs Minister Job Pomat said an interim administration would be in place for the two new provinces until the 2012 elections, after which they would have their own full administrations.
When the euphoria of welcoming the two new provinces dies down, the tough task of drawing their boundaries will begin.
In the oil and gas-rich
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, who pushed for the creation of the two provinces, drew praise from Highlands leaders from Enga, Western and
Southern Highlands Governor
“Today is the date with destiny for Hela and Jiwaka,” Mr Agiru said. “I am very happy to be part of the National Alliance Government that has honoured its commitment.”
He said the Hela people had repeatedly said “no Hela province, no gas”, but the Prime Minister had delivered both the Benefits Sharing Agreement (BSA) and now the Hela province.
Mr Agiru stressed that Hela and
He said there would be no competition between them and praised all his nine Members of Parliament for supporting the move because the province was so huge, with a population of 600,000.
Mr Agiru thanked the National Alliance party, its coalition partners, Mendi MP Pastor Isaac Joseph and Opposition leader Sir Mekere Morauta.
He specifically mentioned Pr Joseph because even though his party leader did not vote for the Bill, he stood up to be counted.
He said a technical working team was put together during the last government, which visited and gauged the views of the people who strongly called for their own province.
He said with the “new provinces comes the challenge to have the administration on the ground, for good leadership and to bring socio-economic development to the people”.
Member for North Waghi and
Mr Mul said he flew in a delegation from his province to