Opposition calls for SOE in SHP, Hela

Opposition Leader Patrick Pruaitch is calling on the Government to declare a State of Emergency in Southern Highlands and Hela provinces.

Pruaitch said the National Executive Council meeting today at 2pm should consider an SOE in both provinces so remedial work can be immediately undertaken, major highways made safe for travel and essential services restored as quickly as possible.

The Opposition has also commended Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for the Government’s quick response to the disastrous earthquake that has severely impacted the oil and gas producing provinces.

“I am glad our Defence Force personnel have been deployed to assist with recovery efforts and the Australian Government has been requested for additional help,” stated Pruaitch.

“Depending on expert advice, it may be necessary to set up a number of community care centres for people who have been made homeless and to act as logistical centres for provision of needed services in severely impacted areas.”

Pruaitch added that with the declaration of a State of Emergency and a duly established authority, Papua New Guineans in other parts of the nation may be able to provide voluntary services and assist with the provision of food and other necessities.

“The pain and suffering of the people of Hela and Southern Highlands is being felt throughout the nation and no stone should be left unturned to help the people regain a sense of normalcy once again,” he said.

Freddy Mou