The Government has transferred eleven million kina worth of Special Support Grants tothe Morobe Provincial Government.
This is for the implementation of development projects in Belolo district and areas impacted bythe Hidden Valley Mining Project.
This was announced bythe state team atthe Hidden Valley Mining Project MOA review meeting in Lae recently in response to queries by landowners onthe whereabouts ofthe funds.
The Special Support Grant is a grant thatthe National Government gives annually to provincial governments that are hosts to mining projects. The K11m is an accumulated amount for the years 2010-2012.
A member ofthe state team James Norum said one million kina ofthese funds had already been spent on projects includingthe purchase of vehicles for the Belolo police Mobile Squad-15 and Wau police.
Mr Norum who is alsothe state’s representative onthe Morobe Project Management Unit’said projects identiflied for funding withthe balance of K10m, include Wau town road sealing, installation of Kuembu to Winima electricity supply and road upgrade projects, and installation of Nauti electricity supply and road upgrade projects.
He saidthe Morobe Provincial Supply & Tenders board had already awarded contracts to companies to implementthese projects and that work would begin soon.
NakuwiLandowner Association Chairman Rex Mauri said his people were looking forward to seeingthese projects implemented because this would mean better living standards for his people.
Meantimethe State will follow up onthe instruments of a “future generations’ trust fund” for the Hidden Valley Mining Project landowners, believed to be withthe Finance Department.
The establishment ofthe trust fund is one ofthe undertakings ofthe State inthe Mines MoA.
Timothy Mais, senior economist withthe Treasury Department said he would consult withthe Finance Department to establish whtherthe department had in its possessionthe trust fund instruments.
He saidthe State would establish a new deed ifthe instruments were not found. The purpose ofthe fund is to cater for health and educational needs for the future generations ofthe landowners of HVM.
Delly Begu, National EMTV News