The Manus Provincial Government has appealed to the National Government to return to the negotiating table with the Australian government, to clarify the areas of benefit under the Manus Regional Processing Center.
Manus Governor, Charlie Benjamin, when presenting the provincial budget for the year 2014 to Treasurer, Don Polye yesterday, said his people have not benefited much from what the Australians have claimed so far.
Governor Benjamin said major projects like the Lorengau to Momote road and Lorengau Market have now been postponed till next year.
Governor Benjamin took the opportunity to express his people’s concerns about the benefits promised by the PNG and the Australian governments under the Manus Regional Processing Centre.
Mr. Benjamin said there are a lot of infrastructure developments for the Centre taking place, but there are no tangible and direct benefits for the people to date.
He said the Lorengau to Momote road and Lorengau market are among some major projects that were promised to be improved this year, however, it has now been postponed till next year.
The governor appealed to the PNG and Australian governments to review the agreements and benefits for the people of Manus.
He also expressed disappointment at the Prime Minister’s commitment of K18.5 million when he visited the province.
Manus Province is among several other provinces that receives the least budget allocation every year.
Last year, they received K59 million from the national government; this year they received 79 million, that’s an addition of K20 million.
Treasury Minister, Don Polye, said he understood the cries of the governor and the people of Manus, however, he said the Centre was put in the province in the best interest of the Manus people.
He also said business spin offs from the Centre and the Australian government will improve the provincial government’s annual internal revenue generation.
Mr. Polye took note of the concerns and assured the Governor he will make it known to cabinet.
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