O’Neill told a huge crowd that the government will build a market in Maprik, upgrade the Hayfield airport and seal the town area.
At the opening of a K4 million health centre in Maprik, the PM said the project, which is co-funded by ADB, AusAID and the national and provincial governments, is a new initiative by the government to bring services right into the community.
“Antap lo disla mipla givim K5 million i go pinis lo Memba lo yumi mekim sho yumi upgreidim Maprik hospital. Disla tu ba ol i putim lo tenda,” said O’Neill. (On top of this we gave K5 million to the Member to make sure we upgrade the Maprik hospital. This will go to tender as well.)
“Mipla i wok lo wokim nupla hausik lo Boram wantem funding blong European Union yumi kisim. Bikpla hausik stret yumi wokim lo hapsait we em i ba lukaitim provins blo yumi.” (We are building a hospital at Boram with funding from the European Union. It is a big hospital that will cater for the province.)
O’Neill further said PNG has many challenges, hence an individual leader or person cannot perform miracles. He instead stressed on cooperation.
“Whether you’re in another party or on the other side of Parliament or on a different community level leadership, we must all work together to bring services to our people,” the PM said.
“I am saying this because our country has reached a dangerous stage where our population is increasing rapidly while our resources are not.
“With an K11 billion budget each year, and we’re looking at taking care of over 8 million people in this country, it is not an easy task.
“Because on top of that K11 billion, K5.5 billion goes to take care of our public service; teachers and those who work for our country. Another K5 or K6 million left from that, K2 million goes to hospitals and health workers in our country.
“Almost K3 billion is used for school fees and to run education programs. And almost K1 billion left from that, we use to build roads and other infrastructure that is why we still have more work to do.
“Money keeps running out while our population keeps increasing at a rapid rate. That is why we need to prioritise.”
PM O’Neill said his government decided to focus on health and education as these sectors affect everyone.
He further stressed that PNG’s future depends on its land, hence the allocation of nearly K100 million last year and this year to boost agriculture.