This was the message from New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan after the July 12th Inter Government Agreement signing between the Government and New Ireland, East New Britain and Enga Province.
A determined and satisfied Governor conveyed that the signing was a historical moment, a turning point for the country and a win for his people and generations to come.
“We fulfilled the promise that PPP (People's Progress Party) can be trusted, we fulfilled the election promise and it has taken us 10 years to do it, and we’ve done it!
“It is changing the system of government from the unitary system to the federal system, so now provinces will have substantial decentralization of powers moving towards systems such as Australia and the United States,” said an elated Sir J.
Sir Julius said he will be inviting the Minister for Inter Government Relations, Kevin Isifu, who was the champion steward for the move toward Autonomy throughout the conference, to attend the upcoming New Ireland day celebrations in Kavieng (27th -28th July), where he will officially declare the province autonomous.
“We’ve changed the status of government back to where it belongs, to the people at the local level.
“I just want you all to know that this is a big victory; it’s not a small thing.
“This is a turning point in our history. Restructuring the kind of democratic governments involving people from the bottom up,” said Sir Julius.
He made special mention of fellow former Prime Minister and Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti, who as Prime Minister initiated the reforms in the Constitution and Organic Law enabling greater decentralization of power to the local level governments.
Meantime, a rousing welcome was staged for the Governor as he landed at the Kavieng airport on July 15th.