PNG GOVERNMENT TO STOP THE SALE OF NBC

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MELBOURNE, Australia (October 15, 1997 - PACNEWS)---The Papua New Guinea government is to stop the sell-off of the country's national broadcaster, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

Prime Minister Bill Skate says NBC is not for sale, promising to bail out the broadcaster in the national interest.

Skate says radio is the only national communications network that reaches remote rural areas as well as cities. He says villagers rely on the NBC for information, education and entertainment.

NBC has run into financial trouble because of an outstanding damages claim. The national broadcaster had been ordered by a court to auction off its Port Moresby headquarters to meet a compensation pay-out to a former employee who was recently awarded damages for wrongful dismissal and legal fees which came to about a quarter of a million dollars.

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