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PNG’S RABAUL HARBOR LITTERED WITH ABANDONED SHIPS The East New Britain port seeks help to remove hulks

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 5, 2008) – Rabaul is a shipping hub and a renowned tourist destination – but it is a mess with wrecked and idle ships.

[PIR editor’s note: Rabaul is a town on the northeastern tip of the island province of New Britain.]

East New Britain Administrator Aquila Tubal wants PNG Ports Corporation help to clean up the harbour by removing the useless vessels.

He said these vessels not only spoiled the beauty of Simpsons Harbour but also blocked marine traffic and berthing space.

He said the wrecks were accumulating silt in the harbour and accommodating customers for illegal brothels.

Two of the derelict ships there belong to the New Ireland Provincial Government through its shipping subsidiary. Development Corporation board chairman Robin Sios says the people have been robbed of their money and the potential to make more money by the previous government’s neglect of the two provincial ships, MV Tohian and the MV Beaumaris.

Dr Sios said this was the sad reality of the shipping business and the ships owned by the New Ireland people through subsidiary company, New Ireland Shipping.

Dr Sios said the two ships had been left to rot under the forces of Mother Nature at Rabaul.

He said indecision by previous leaders in New Ireland had led to investments worth several million kina going down the drain and incurred extra costs to remove the vessels which were now worthless and unseaworthy. Meanwhile, the Governor of New Ireland Sir Julius Chan said this was negligence and showed the recklessness and tardiness of the past government to manage the financial affairs and resources of the people.

"This is one of the many rotten decisions and inactions of the previous governments that cost New Ireland so much in lost revenue and good governance," Sir Julius said.

He said previous governments spent a lot of money on New Ireland Shipping which went broke and was deregistered in 2005. As a result all outer islands were suffering.

"My government is now loaded with rubbish and a lot of money is needed to clear the mess instead of putting the money into development projects," said Sir Julius.

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier:

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