By Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Just two months after the opening of the refurbished Pineapple Building in Port Moresby, another iconic building was opened yesterday after being restored to its former glory.
The Central Government Office was constructed in 1974 and given to the PNG government by the Australian government as an Independence gift in 1975.
The building became the home of the first government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
After 18 years of abandonment, the Central Government Office was officially re-opened yesterday after a much needed restoration exercise. The occasion was marked with celebration.
Just 20 years after its construction, the building was condemned as being unfit for occupancy. By 1998, all government departmen’s housed in the building, including Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Public Service Commission (now DPM), were moved to alternative office space throughout the capital city.
Secretary for the Department of Personnel Management, John Kali, said the day marked a historical moment for PNG, but more so for the government and its public service machinery.
Kali said it was the government’s intention to accommodate departmen’s in its own buildings in order to improve communication and coordination between these departmen’s, improve performance and productivity and save costs. The movement by government departmen’s away from rented office space will realise immediate savings of at least K15 million.
Contractor Central Land Limited refurbished the building, and the Prime Minister was pleased with the outcome.
Prime Minister O’Neill acknowledged the significance of the building in the early years following the country’s independence. Many of the country’s pioneers began their remarkable careers from inside the walls of the Central Government Office.
The Prime Minister and senior members of the government officially opened the iconic building. This was following by a guided tour of the building by management.