Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB)

Morobe voters turn up for B'ville polls

Despite the wet weather, Bougainvilleans in Morobe turned up to have a say on the region’s leadership.

This year’s general elections for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is quite significant as it is the first election after the referendum in November 2019.

The leaders voted in will continue negotiations with the National Government to determine AROB’s political future.

The event started off with the Presiding Officer, Joel Noga, explaining the process as well as the system of voting, which is the limited preferential voting (LPV) system.

ARoB liquor ban extended

The Bougainville Executive Council made the decision this week, following public outcry from local communities across Bougainville for a total liquor ban during the aftermath of the referendum.

The acting Chief Secretary to the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Thomas Raivet, issued a circular to all Bougainville Public Servants notifying of this extension.

The Bougainville Police Service has been directed to maintain surveillance on all affected liquor shops including any ‘black market’ outlets across Bougainville.

AROB officials make commitment

This was during a Training of Trainers on “Human Rights in a Referendum” conducted in Buka from 13 to 17 May 2019.

The training was conducted by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in collaboration with the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) Department of Community Development, Bougainville Referendum Commission and other ABG Institutions.

Rise in ARoB HIV infection: Coordinator

This comment was made by the Catholic HIV Coordinator, Sr Stella Morokana, during a HIV/AIDS awareness in the Peit Constituency of Buka Island last Tuesday (August 21).

Sr Morokana said there was a huge increase in the number of people infected with the deadly virus since 2012.

“The HIV figures from the Catholic AIDS Office show an increase from just 23 in 2012 and to 77 in 2018. This is a sharp climb - a bad trend especially for a region coming out of a conflict.

K1m boat for B’ville islanders

The boat will make access easier for transporting goods and produce like cocoa and copra between Torokina, South Bougainville and Buka town.

The people of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB), even after 20 years after one of the bloodiest civil wars known in the history of Papua New Guinea, are still picking up rather slowly on the normalcy known throughout the country – like the tradition of celebrating Christmas.

Ballot boxes held for ransom

Electoral Commissioner, Patilias Gamato, says teams 92 to 100, in Selau Suir, are holding onto the boxes until payment is made.

Gamato said the commission is currently working to address the issue so that the boxes are returned.

Polling in ARoB is scheduled to conclude by Wednesday.

In other parts of the New Guinea Islands, counting for East New Britain is scheduled for Friday once all ballot boxes are brought into Kokopo.

Polling in Manus has been completed while West New Britain is expected to be completed as of yesterday.

State to transfer more powers to ABG

A delegation led by Minister for Public Services, Sir Puka Temu, and Personnel Management Secretary, John Kali, will travel to ARoB to execute the MOU which is a requirement under the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

The MOU will see the decentralisation of National Government powers to the ARoB Government and include: human resource management; education, labour  and employment; agriculture and livestock; communication and information; community development, arts and culture; health; tourism; and environment and conservation.

Himata to take up AROB mining role

Himata told Loop PNG during the Departments Corporate and Strategic Plan Launching that he will be taking up the role of Mining Secretary in ARoB.

He said he will be assisting the autonomous government in developing the mining sector in the island.

Himata hands the reigns over the department to Harry Kore, who has assumed the role of Acting Secretary.

During his farewell speech, Himata said the government could not have appointed a better candidate saying Kore would deliver many of the objectives that are outlined in the recently launched plans.

Works underway to seal Buin town roads

The K4.8 million project is part of Australia’s long running partnership to help maintain Bougainville’s road network.

A formal ceremony was held  on Thursday February 16, to mark the progress of an Australian funded project to seal selected town roads in Buin.

The town roads in Buin are a vital link connecting communities and businesses.

The newly sealed roads will improve all-weather access to Buin Secondary School, residences, shops and essential services.

The project will deliver safer, more reliable roads for the people of Southern Bougainville.

ARoB consultants to boost growth

These are some of the prospects when the Australian trade delegation travels to ARoB today.

Gary Aylwood, a member of the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and Tradelinked group, says the delegation consists of consultants who will provide training for local agricultural business and assist in the kick starting of old technology.

“In the case of the agricultural sector, we’ve got some consultants that can help farmers and co-ops to improve their yields and they’ll be having some discussion there to assist, particularly in the cocoa industry,” says Aylwood.