It is hoped that following the swearing-in of the Mt Hagen City Authority Board, the country’s third largest city will see changes after the City Authority had no board for close to seven years.
Mt Hagen is one of the four main centres of Papua New Guinea that operates under the City Authority concept. It has been seven years since the last City Council board sat.
There was no board due to the failed Local Level Government elections in 2012, which had seen the failing of elections for many ward councilors and presidents.
Due to the absence of a city council, rubbish from households and businesses were dumped everywhere in the city, making the city an eyesore.
A welcome change yesterday saw the swearing-in for Members of the Mt Hagen City Authority. Its members were given the green light by the implementing department of the Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs, and the Western Highlands Provincial Government, to pass laws to provide a much needed face-lift to the City.
Western Highlands Provincial Administrator, Joseph Neng, says for the first time, the Provincial Government will support the board and will contribute human resource and ideas to build Mt Hagen City back to its glory days.
Local MP, William Duma, supported the idea for the City Authority to pass laws, in an effort to control peoples attitude.
Laws on littering, petty crime activities, garbage collection and also finding ways to bring in additional income. Mt Hagen Urban and Rural LLG also signed a MoU to work together to develop the town.
Lord Mayor, Jacob Michael, said they will be tough on unregistered businesses in the city and garbage collection work will start soon.
At present, four cities operate under City Authorities – are Port Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen and Kokopo.
By Vasinatta Yama – EMTV News, Mt Hagen