PNG To Spend Nearly $9 Million On 40th Anniversary

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Independence Day celebrations planned across country

By Gorethy Kenneth

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Aug. 20, 2015) – The 40th Independence Day celebrations next month will cost K25 million [US$8.8 million]. At least K10 million [SU$3.5 million] of this will be spent in Port Moresby to stage the main ceremony.

The remaining K15 million [US$5.3 million] will be shared among Members of Parliament and Governors to stage their own celebrations in their provinces. Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko gave a total cost when launching the 40th anniversary program on Tuesday night.

He said Open MPs will receive K100,000 [US$35,000] each, governors K500,000 [US$176,000] while three main centres – Mount Hagen, Lae and Kokopo – will get K500,000 each for their live shows.

The national event, including live broadcast, formalities, the spectacular, merchandise, city dress-up, entertainers, staging, fireworks and all operations, was estimated at around K7 million [US$2.5 million].

"This is not just about Port Moresby where we are doing the big shows, we are also do live shows in Hagen, Kokopo and Lae. Each Member has his own program in the districts.

"We are here to do something positive, we are here to celebrate our 40 years of independence and we are going to do it in style. We will give our country something to remember," Mr Tkatchenko said.

Michelle Monsour of The Creative Management, one of the event organisers, said yesterday: "As for Jennifer Lopez I can state that yes I did secure her but the Prime Minister did not approve because he wanted local musicians.

"He did not want to spend money on a big star for a national event. It was an option put forward and she is definitely not coming.

"We do have a number of local artists and one international band.

"Yiannis Nicolau has been putting the production together and has done an amazing job. He is doing this pretty much single handedly, unlike Makoda who engaged a huge team of consultants and staff. I believe Yiannis can show that PNG is capable of doing a productions like this using local resources," she said.

"I want to assure you that as much as possible we are using local resources. Of course fireworks and jets and some lighting effects and rigging is being supported from overseas because of the huge supply we require," Ms Monsour said.

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