By Lorraine Genia – EM TV Sport, Port Moresby
Chairlady of the Games Organising Committee, Emma Waiwai responded to this morning’s National newspaper headlines “Games Worry” through a press conference staged today.
Mrs Waiwai clarified that the total budget for the GOC is K160 million; of which K96 million was allocated by the national government and the remaining K54 million [yet to be received] through sponsorships and fundraisings.
President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, expressed satisfaction in the works progressing for the games. He reiterated that both he and Executive Director, Andrew Minogue, were confident with the progress of venues.
“I’m amazed by the way you can run a front page story about something I never said.This press conference is my first since I’ve been here,” Lakhan said at the press conference.
He said that progress was looking promising in the Games preparations, and that he remained positive in the Games Organising Committee in its efforts, under the leadership of PGA Chairman Kostas Constantinou and the support of the Tkatchenko, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the National Government.
Minister for Sport, Pacific Games and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko has expressed disappointment at the lack of journalistic professionalism shown by the National in its front page story; particularly critical of comments reported to have been made by PGC President Vidhya Lakhan, which Lakhan was not aware of.
“The progress of Games Preparations are there for all to see, and we have been very open about the progress at the venues. What I am disappointed with is the ‘hatching’ of a comment by the unknown reporter of the paper”, the Minister said.
Lakhan said that progress was looking promising in the Games preparations, and he remained positive in the Games Organising Committee in its efforts, under the leadership of PGA Chairman Kostas Constantinou and the support of the Tkatchenko, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the National Government.
Maintaining the highest level of positivity and gratitude, both the GOC and Pacific Games authority have installed faith and confidence in the preparations leading up to what will be the best Pacific Games; refuting claims reported in the daily paper.
According to the National – “the Games Organising Committee had blown their budget and have requested a further K400 million allocation from the national government; and according to National’s ‘source’ the “treasury officials were very disappointed with the request” and labelled this as being “over and above what had been expected of any variation costs”
The story further claimed that President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidhya Lakhan, had said that “he was worried that several sporting venues would not be ready on time”.
Part 2: http://youtu.be/5yVshwTILKk