JIWAKA & HELA PROVINCE A WASTE OF TIME AND RESOURCE:
February 3 2009 at 9:19 AM
It intrigues me to read and hear a lot about the formation of Jiwaka and Hela provinces. As a PNG Patriot, I believe in unity and not in division. Having separate provinces will not necessarily solve all problems, as some prominent leaders have asserted both in the media and public forums. It will add to so many other issues and bring in division not just in the highlands but in other regions as well.
I am totally against the formation of two extra provinces due to three primary reasons.
Firstly, both provinces do not have vast resources to sustain themselves in the long run. The only income to Jiwaka Province will be from the Waghi Mek plantation. There are no commercial shops for GST collection.
Unfortunately, Waghi Mek has been run down for almost ten years now and still there is no sign of the coffee plantation, once the pride of the Jiwaka people, being revived as there are still pending management and landowner issues that are yet to be dealt with.
Although the Somare government in 2005 allocated K1 million for the rehabilitation of the plantation, nothing has since materialized, except for huge consultancy fees which were charged without any physical developments on Waghi Mek.
For Hela Province, they have the LNG Project which is still in the pipeline, except for Kutubu/ Moro gas and oils which is still sustaining the bulk of the SHP's budget.
Take not that those resources are non-renewable and will not be relied upon forever.
Nonetheless, the LNG project with a life-span of 30 years is not long. The questions of interest is, what will Hela Province rely on apart from the oil and gas which it is currently benefiting from in the long run when the LNG project ceases operation?
Secondly, it will be a huge financial burden on the national government, as each province will require tens and millions of kina for public servants, let along the huge pay packet of the top provincial beaurecrats. The huge infrastructures that will be needed to house the provincial parliament, let alone the public servant housing and provincial health centers.
Surely the national government cannot allow that to happen when our hospitals are running shot of life-saving drugs, let alone vital equipments for hospitals to cure even the simplest diseases. Due to no life saving equipments within our hospitals patients are forced to go overseas for treatment, which again is a huge financial burden on the individual.
Our schools and higher institutions need urgent attention, in terms of better classrooms, teachers housing, student resources, and the list continues. The government cannot take such huge financial risks, when in fact PNG's foreign debt has already sky-rocked to K9 billion. Surely there are more pending issues of national interest then just issuing two provinces.
Rather than squandering millions on setting up these two provinces, why can't the government fix its priority on the above issues which are of national importance? Issues when addressed will positively affect majority of Papua New Guineans.
Thirdly, the critical issue here is, should the government grant those two provinces, it will set a bad precedent for other provinces to follow suit, especially provinces with huge natural resources, let alone Hela Province.
For instance, take Porgera Laigam district where the Porgera Gold Mine is located, Ok Tedi mine in Kiunga, Barrick Kainantu Gold of Kainantu, Ramu Nickel in Ramu, and other provinces with huge reserves of natural resources which may feel that they have met the prerequisite of forming their own province. I'm afraid, speaking from past experience ( i.e. Bougainville crises) we will see smaller autonomous regions popping up within PNG and soon or latter the number of provinces in PNG will decrease as each region with huge natural resources will follow suit in the same direction.
In closing, the reality is that bulk of the Jiwaka and Hela population are just happy to be united as Highlanders and Papua New Guineans. It's just a few minorities especially people with a few political and financial interests are going around informing all the non-literate rural population, that having a separate provinces will enable them to facilitate a lot of developments.
There are more pressing issues of national interest and Sir Michael and his NA led coalition should not be held to ransom by vested political and financial interest of few individuals. Unity will prosper PNG and not Division.
Inland Rigo must move like Helas, Jiwakas
I would like to comment about people who are responsible for Central Province. Why has Magi Highway ended at Boku village? Please
Alphonse Moroi and Ano Pala, listen very carefully. Some parts of Central are being developed, but what about the areas in inland
Rigo? Since Independence we have been forgotten by our MPs. Enough is enough, we want to move like Jiwakas and Helas and create a
Inland Rigo asking for their own province is a complete joke and I'm glad to say, it will never happen. Jiwaka and Hela do have some grounds for asking for their own provinces and I somewhat sympathize with them.
Bougainville SHOULD NOT BE compared to the rest of the PNG Provinces because the Bougainville case is a bit unique in that they WILL BECOME THEIR OWN COUNTRY before 2020 - so the ABG is a sensible step toward that goal.
ENB has been asking for greater autonomy since 1969 and will get it most likely this year.
NIPS has also asked for greater autonomy but the current state of their provincial government needs to be addressed first before anybody can actually take them seriously.
The asking for greater autonomy by PNG's provinces isn't a new thing that's sprung up overnight. If you look at the History books you'll discover that when Michael Somare was PNG's Chief Minister, he was faced with provinces left, right and centre vying to become their own country pre-independence.
East & West Sepik wanted their own country, so did too Papua (believe it or not, SHP was the only province in the Papua block that wanted to become part of the new PNG)...and even Samarai Island wanted to become independent!
I like to add a few comments to the writers view. What will happen to should in the event that the so-called Hela Province does not eventuate? Is PNG on the verge of civil war of epic propotion or is it just a threat.
I've seen lots of lots of firearms being transported into the Hela regions. Please, i may be wrong, but can someone please clarify me that, is there a tribal warefare in the Hela Region right now. if not, then whats the point of all these "hardware" being freighted into Hela.
By the actions of the few individuals (landowners), PNG will regret should the LNG project be scraped off.
No Hela province, no gas?
Many SHP leaders and Hela people are looking forward to the creation of the new Hela province before the 2012 general election. Many are looking at the new province with the nations most lucrative gas project. But what happens if the Government fails to create a Hela province by 2012? Tari-Pori MP James Marape once said: No Hela province, no gas! Would the gas project be affected if the creation of Hela province fails to materialise? The Government must take this issue into account thoroughly and digest its likely implications. PNG must not see a repeat of Bougainville. Peter Kinsharp, Port Moresby
I actually agree with the posting, we don't need two provinces,we should be looking at how to rescue of economy. The money earned by people who work can't even last them the next fortnight, jobless Uni students,where is the job. We aint making enough money the country to function as a nation and it's not easy to become a province at this kind of time. I think we should point the fingers at the so called literate PNGians who fold our harms and get carried away by with our lifestyle.All the human skills of the country is going out of the country,politicians becoming reach overnight,this is daylight robbery,my friends,what the **** is going on people,let's vote in literate people who can run the country,not some bullshiat who can sleep in the parliament house and say yes,"stereotyped".Literate people if you are overseas please earn enough money go back home and let's save our nation,we gotta payabck those older PNG(dad&m8um).This is real world we can't run away from our responsibility. We owe our country lots!!
Over and out.
You are so right about your post. Where else can Jiwaka get its money from? There is no way else. The Marijuana and Steam thing are only found in Jiwaka and you cant find them anywhere else...that's why they paint the name for Jiwaka.
It's true Jiwaka has such bad reputation (according to you) but you know, when God created the universe, he didn't use any existing thing to create it but out of nothing. Well Jiwaka really has nothing but if this is the will of God then I personally Promise you that you before you die you'll live to see that Jiwaka will be a different place and you'll remember what you posted here.
God is gonna move this country using a medium you dont know.
Brother/Sister, I think you are taking things too personal. May be you may not have reached an educational
level where you will realise and understand certain things. Jiwaka is well known for its hospitality that friendliness that its people have with them since independance. In the past there was no Steam and Marijuana but it is a great problem now, however, this is not only happening in Jiwaka but all parts of the country. We cannot deny that ,"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones".
Be patriot, be realistic and develop PNG with visions and dreams of sucess. Challenge the situations...
Today Wednesday 11 March 2009 at 12pm the Parliament passed the new provinces Hela & Jiwaka Bill with 87 votes. All Party Leaders (both in government and opposition) spoke out publicly in support of the bill before voting. No party opposed the Bill. All 9 SHP MPs voted for it. All Hela give credit to all political parties. Thank you Chief Somare for personal sponsoring the Bill.
Thank you to those who supported us. For those opposing us please do not get upset as we are an integral part of Papua New Guinea.We Hela will look after PNG in the next 30 years.
Well, what would you have preferred? An Autonomous government or a separate new province? I think this is for the best of the country as a whole and the province too.
For the development aspect I can say that it is the right move, because whether you have realized or not we have a government policy enacted that states that for whatever revenues that any province makes 70% goes to the national budget which is than again given down to provincial budgets nation-wide.
Haven't people realized that with the amount of natural resources that our country tends to export should other provinces be well of by now? Of course, that is the thing with the democratic Westminster government, they focus at maintaining and developing urban centres while rural areas remain the same.
Talking of which why do you think SHP was declared a SOE,it happened because Somare was afraid of another civil war erupting just like Bougainvil not only because SHP was corrupt. Try to think of Hami Yawari telling Somare to give back the 70% so that the national could have 30%, that was totally something that would have struck up a civil war.
I think that Hela province is the best way to go to make use of the limited revenue that the province is entitle to after all. But this will not stop the change that will engulf the whole nation. Believe me, looking at the current situation how the country is going I think the next best thing for all provinces is to claim an autonomous government so that provinces can keep how much they want in terms of export revenue and give a certain amount to the national government. And the national government can get its revenue from income taxes and taxes of exports and inports and list goes on.
there are many things we could do for this beloved country to progress but that is not the case. It seems our leaders are to concerned about collecting all the respect and good name they can and not concerned about the changes and the lively hood of the people. Just one Idea, when the national government was receiving billions of Kina from resourceful provinces why didn't it invested in the least resourceful provinces in some sort of industries so that they too could generate revenue to assist in their own provincial budget. Well, some of the thing that our leaders could think about.
No Hela No gas... thats plain simple as that. the government of the day can go on and on about the potenrial of big bucks that will be generated from the project, however, i must admit, until Hela us fully and legally recognised as a province of its own, there will be no LNG project. PERIOD!!!
I am trying to emphasis here is that you dont ask for it to happen over night so there will be commitments from all sectors of the community to come together to develop the new provinces. I am telling those of you who happen to jump the guns may witness one day that you made some vague comments about these two provinces.We will be competing with the rest some ten years time please have ease with us.If really saying is what you think than walk around the back of your own yard and see if the government of the day provided every thing that you wanted in a day or a distance walk from where you are and your tribes lived some good donkey years. we are all improverised in PNG so lets help each other and not to point scores to the new provinces as a new political engineering science graduate please!