by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV, Lae
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said in Lae yesterday that the national government is strongly supporting the implementation of the proposed Lae City Commission.
“We have seen in the past 20 years or so [that] the provincial government has been in the system, the LLG, the Lae City Authority [and] we haven’t been able to deliver enough to our people,” the Prime Minister said.
It’s understood that the bid for a city commission is still being discussed.
Mr O’Neill said the name of the authority responsible for Lae City is irrelevant.
He said it can be called a city council or a commission.
What’s needed are legislative changes to the current administrative structure so that it caters to the need of this rapidly growing city.
“I want to make sure that the city commission includes the private sector, the residents of Lae and other areas where they are going to take responsibility of their own community and own city. Nothing is wrong with that,” the Prime Minister said.
After officially cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of a new K100 million wharf facility in Lae yesterday, Peter O’Neill told a media conference that the current public service structure is lacking.
In just little over two years, Lae, the country’s economic centre in the making, is developing rapidly.
While the government seeks to bring more investors into Lae, it is also considerate of the city’s wellbeing. Establishing the city commission may be a possibility.
The proposed Lae City Commission seeks to address some of Lae’s old problems.
Rubbish has to be collected on time and the roads have to be consistently maintained with a proper sewage and reliable water system for the city.
What that has surfaced so far since the announcement of the proposed city commission are the risks that may come with it.
“There’s large amount of money coming into Lae. Why does [a] city commission have to be established when we already have a provincial government [and] a city council… Those are government structures that are already in existence,” said Michael Daure, a traditional landowner of Lae City.
Many are still arguing that the national government should fund these existing government structures and not create a city commission.