By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, says since the Regional Processing Centre on Manus was reopened in 2012, the number of refugees or boat people going to Australia has reduced.
Governor Benjamin was pleased that through the Regional Processing Centre, the province has seen improved infrastructure.
This includes the Manus Provincial Market, which was opened recently.
To the beat of the Garamut, dancers from Manus welcomed the Australian delegation led by High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Deborah Stokes. They were there to open the refurbished Manus Provincial Market.
At the cost of K7.2 million, the market redevelopment was part of Australia’s additional assistance package to Manus Province associated with the processing centre. All other projects sum up to K51 million.
Manus Governor Charlie Benjamin said the processing centre triggered much international publicity, both good and bad, however one thing is certain: the development gains derive from this arrangement.
Ms Stokes spoke highly of the people, saying Manus Province has produced some of the best elites who now hold high positions in the country. Ms Stokes said the new-look market aims to provide economic opportunities for women and girls.
The market has 740 vendor points with layouts for fish, meat and fresh vegetables.
The refurbished market is only one of the many projects undertaken by the Australian Government when the Refugee Processing Centre was re-opened in 2012, and Ms Stokes told the people the Australian Government will ensure they complete all projects under the arrangement.