Luxury sedans raise concerns

PNG taxpayers have raised concerns over the 40 luxury sedans that arrived in Port Moresby for the APEC delegates.

The pricing of the Maserati Quattroporte sedans start from US$209,990 (K683,000), according to the car manufacturer.

The Italian model vehicles arrived in the country last weekend.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit leaders week is approximately a month away and the preparation is well underway to host the 21 economy leaders in Port Moresby.

However, numerous concerns have been raised with regard to the huge amount of funds spent by the Government on preparations alone.

And the recent arrival of the 40 sedans from Italy have added more fuel to the fire.

The vehicles arrived in Port Moresby last weekend on a 747-8 (Code F) aircraft.

The question many people are asking was the transparency involved in acquiring them.

Institute of National Affairs Director Paul Barker posted on his social media account, saying more transparency is required over the real costs as the poor people of Papua New Guinea are forfeiting services and opportunities to fund this event.

“Which really has little relevance to them and their lives,” he wrote.  

He questioned that with the population of this nation struggling after years of economic strife, with formal sector employment going backwards for some time, rural transport infrastructure, law and order and other core services barely existent, is the population being taken for a ride over the cost of hosting this APEC show?

Minister responsible for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko, in a media statement confirmed the delivery of a range of vehicles to be used by visiting APEC dignitaries and officials as well as security during the APEC Summit in November.

Minister Tkatchenko further explained that vehicles that have been sourced included those for use by leaders, ministers and delegates, as well as police vehicles and a range of vans, buses, ambulances and fire engines.

He also confirmed that the Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered, and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector.

“The sedans will provide the level of carriage for leaders that is the standard for vehicles used at APEC Summits,” Tkatchenko stated.

“Papua New Guinea is delivering a world-class APEC Summit and we are ensuring leaders and dignitaries are transported properly between events through APEC week.”

This newsroom is yet to get a response from Minister Tkatchenko regarding the citizens’ concerns.

Freddy Mou