Law review to propose autonomy for provinces

Provinces seeking autonomy will have the opportunity to do so once a review of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Governments is passed by Parliament.

A recent review of the Organic Law by the Constitutional Law Reform Commission provides for provincial autonomy as well as a clause for provinces to manage their own finances.

CLRC Chairman, Dr Eric Kwa, said the commission was asked by the Government to review the law with a specific focus on ‘autonomy.’

“We want to provide opportunity for our provinces to get autonomy. And in that window, we also want to give them financial autonomy,” said Kwa.

This should be welcome news for New Ireland Province following the announcement by Governor Sir Julius Chan in September this year that his province was ready for autonomy.

It has been a cause he has been championing for since 2008.

Bougainville gained autonomy in 2005 following a 10-year civil war on the island.

The island will hold a referendum in 2019 to determine whether they remain part of PNG or become an independent state.

Cedric Patjole