Preparations For Pacific Games In PNG Behind Schedule

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Required infrastructure unlikely to be ready by July: Report

By Alexander Rheeney

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Dec. 31, 2014) – Key infrastructure needed for the 2015 Pacific Games in Port Moresby are unlikely to be completed when the premier regional sporting event gets underway in July next year.

A confidential report for the Pacific Games Venue Infrastructure and Equipment Committee obtained by the Post-Courier highlights major concerns about the completion dates for work on the Games Village, the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Complex, the Sir John Guise Indoor and Outdoor Complex and the Rita Flynn Courts.

On the Games Village at the University of Papua New Guinea, the report said it is unlikely that all the buildings will be completed and the overall construction program is being delayed by eight weeks.

For the Taurama Aquatic and Indoor Complex, minor finishing works is being done but seats in the middle arena will not be completed in time for the games.

Office areas at the Sir John Guise stadium, which is to house the administration of the games, are not expected to be completed.

The Rita Flynn Courts along Bisini Parade in the National Capital District, which is being upgraded by the firm China Jiangsu, is not expected to be completed before the start of the games.

Sports Minister Justine Tkatchenko, in a statement to this newspaper yesterday afternoon, said the report was used as a guide by the games organising committee to ensure they and the Office of the Minister were aware of the challenges and accomplishments of the venue and facilities.

"There are concerns on the ‘lagging’ on processes and completion deadlines on some projects but these are not unknown and Pacific Games Authority chairman and the Minister are personally driving all efforts besides pressure on contractors to ensure the delivery of all the projects by July 2015," he said.

"It must be emphasised time and again that the O’Neill/Dion Government did inherit this Games two years after the bid was won and committed to ensure delivery. This Government will not allow these to fail and has therefore fully financially backed all areas of preparations of facilities, administration as well as athlete and team preparations."

The report also raised concerns about the awarding of contracts as the "entire process" excluded the committee’s consultants, which the report warned could be a hurdle to the ability of the committee to effectively hand over the infrastructure prior to the games.

The Central Supply and Tenders Board also came under scrutiny with the report making reference to its delays in approving change orders and variations.

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