by Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Discussions on the caretaker of the 2015 Games Village are expected to begin between the Sport and Higher National News Ministries soon.
Sport Minister, Justin Tkatchenko, said though the University of Papua New Guinea has ownership of the village, it lacks the capacity to maintain the infrastructure.
Thus the discussion will appoint a body to maintain the recently constructed infrastructure which can accommodate up to 4,000 people at one time and a mess facility.
“Yes, UPNG owns the buildings but we need to find a body to manage the infrastructure, clean it every day and ensure that no betel-nut, drugs or alcohol is brought in the village,” Tkatchenko said.
The series of questions initially raised by Chuave MP, Wera Mori, in parliament included the development of sporting facilities in the other provinces, and a request for the sports ministry to give recognition to other sporting codes like cricket.
Making reference to the National Cricket Team, the Barramundis, Mori said the team has performed exceptionally well, and placed PNG on the International Cricket map.
He said such teams deserve strong government’support and wants the sports department to further support them.
But, while the debate on the ownership of the Games Village was put to rest when a decision was reached by the National Executive Council to give the facilities to UPNG, it raised concerns on the capability of the premier institution on how it will maintain such a huge infrastructure.
In Parliament today, Minster responsible, Justin Tkatchenko, explained that though the village was built for the 2015 Pacific Games, the facilities will again be used for accommodating participants for future regional or international events.
Tkatchenko further explained that the government is investing in building sporting facilities in Goroka, Lae and Kokopo, and will continue with the ‘Go for Gold’ a government program focused on the sports development in the country.