By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Port Moresby
Nawaeb MP, Gisuat Siniwin, today called on Police Minister, Robert Atiyafa, to come clean on police accommodation, particularly in Lae’s Bumbu Barracks.
Siniwin said, almost all houses in Bumbu were constructed from low quality materials, and currently need urgent refurbishment.
He directed the questions to Prime Minster, Peter O’Neill, in the police minister’s absence. The question was asked during questions ‘without notice’ in today’s session of parliament.
When responding, Mr O’Neill said, police housing issues are well accommodated for in the K279 Million Police Modernisation Program.
He said the government is well aware of the low quality materials used in constructing police houses, and appropriate measures were taken to address this.
This includes the construction of new police houses at Bomana, outside Port Moresby, and at Waigani and Morata in the Nation’s Capital.
The concern on proper housing is also felt by members of the other two disciplinary forces, the PNG Defence Force and correctional service.
In Port Moresby, police and army barracks have become overcrowded, signalling the need to build more houses for law enforcers.
Mr O’Neill said, police accommodation is being dealt with directly by the police department, and he will be directing Police Commissioner, Gari Baki, to present a report on this.
In a conference on Monday, Commissioner Baki said, accommodation remains a challenge for the force, and he will be looking at improving this.
The PM said the houses at Bomana are nearing completion stage, and will soon be occupied by police officers.
He also said the Gordons Barracks in Port Moresby will either be renovated or reconstructed.