PNG TO FINANCE $1.8 MILLION CHANCERY FOR SOLOMONS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 29, 2008) - The Solomon Islands High Commission Chancery Committee met in Honiara yesterday to review the building design before submission to the Papua New Guinea Building Board.

The committee is made up of senior government officials from the ministries of foreign affairs and trade, infrastructure and planning.

Solomon Islands High Commissioner to PNG His Excellency Bernard Bata΄anisia is part of the committee, who briefed the committee on the stages and progress on the design work.

Bata΄anisia told Solomon Star that the design plans are established by Archiscabe Group - an architectural group in PNG that won the tender to design the country’s chancery in PNG. The PNG Government is funding the project at the cost of PGK5 million [SB$14 million; US$1.8 million].

“The committee is satisfied with the work done on the project so far,” Bata΄anisia said. He said having reviewed the designs, he would now return to PNG to meet with the architectural firm which will then make a formal submission to PNG’s building board. The building board is responsible for approval of buildings in Port Moresby. Bata΄anisia said this should be done next week.

Meanwhile, Bata΄anisia also met with the Ministry of Education permanent secretary and senior officers on PNG’s education grant for Solomon Islands students. The PNG Government has donated K4 million [SB$11 million; US$1.4 million] towards education for Solomon Islands students in PNG’s tertiary institutions.

"I have discussed the funding arrangements for our students in PNG so it is now up to the education ministry or the National Training Unit to decide on which students to benefit from this," he said.

Bata΄anisia returns to PNG today.

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