PNG FERRY INVESTIGATION STALLS OVER FUNDING

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Full month after sinking, funding still unavailable

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, March 5, 2012) – Papua New Guinea’s Institute of National Affairs says the public will not accept excuses about a lack of funding or delays to the commission of inquiry into the Rabaul Queen ferry disaster.

The ship sank nearly five weeks ago with unofficial estimates putting the death toll at more than 300.

The Government of Peter O’Neill promptly announced an inquiry with a retired Australian judge appointed to chair it, but there is no start date and funding is still to be allocated.

The Institute’s executive director, Paul Barker, says it is clearly an inquiry that must go ahead.

"The public will not accept any excuses about inadequate funding and delays in this. The people, and we don’t know the numbers, the final numbers who have died. The people and the relatives of those who’ve died need to have this inquiry completed, but also the wider public."

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