By John Dau

The National

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (Sept. 24) - The national government plans to hand over the responsibility of major airports in the country to provincial government that have the capacity to keep them in good condition, Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye said yesterday.

Mr Polye made these statements following queries raised by Morobe Governor Luther Wenge as to what plans the National Government had to maintain the deteriorating Nadzab Airport and the Lae Wharf.

Mr Wenge said that there were overgrown grass on Nadzab Airport, the scanners were no longer working, the sediment from the Markham River were building up at the Lae Wharf and the city has too many potholes.

He said the National Government should handover the airport to the Morobe provincial government, as it was 'the pride of Morobe'. 

He said the National Government should find money for the wharf and allow them to collect money from tonne gauze to maintain the roads in the city.

Mr Wenge said they need funding to maintain the infrastructure, as Lae was the second city in the country.

In response, Mr Polye said they had plans to hand over national airports to provincial governments that have the capacity.

He said Tokua Airport in Rabaul and the Goroka Airport would be handed over to the provincial governments as they have the capacity.

He said they have a funding of K60,000 for the Nadzab Airport which was purposely for maintenance of Nadzab but he does not know why they have not started work.

However, he said the Governor should inform him on the capacity of his Government so that they could hand over the airport.

He said as for the wharf, they have talked with exporters and importers, who have agreed to engage a contractor. He said his ministry did not follow it as wharfs come under the Ministry of Privatisation.

Mr Polye also said the Morobe Government could not be given the responsibility of collecting tonnage from the vehicles as that was the responsibility of the National Road Council.

September 24, 2003

The National:


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