Milne Bay

Cultural breakdown a factor in lawlessness: Leader

The Huhu LLG leader highlighted a lack of respect in today’s society.

When speaking of Milne Bay’s locally initiated event – the Huhu War Canoe Festival – coordinator Kaimuyoni Ila emphasised the importance of imparting cultural and traditional knowledge to the younger generation.

Ila believes this is the best way to keep youths firmly grounded in spite of Western influence.

‘Ghost’ island of Samarai

Today, the beautiful island of Samarai lies forgotten at the southern tip of the mainland.

White sandy beach and glistening, clear water will greet you as you approach Samarai, a forgotten electorate of Milne Bay that still boasts picturesque selfie spots and fantastic diving and snorkeling sites.

In the 1960s, Samarai was a busy administrative hub of Milne Bay with a port that greets vessels servicing the Tokyo, Shanghai and Brisbane routes.

Criminals better equipped: Commander

Provincial police commander, Peter Barkie, said this is the sad reality on ground.

Once synonymous with tourism, the beautiful island province of Milne Bay has been rocked with shootouts, arson, petty crimes and piracy; a nightmare for the majority of the laidback local populace.

With the new provincial police commander, Barkie, taking over the reins, his vision to restore the public’s trust in the force is hampered with a lack of logistics.

New Milne Bay PPC works on rebuilding image

The new Milne Bay Provincial Police Commander is pushing for a new-look, well-disciplined force if they are to tackle the tremendous challenge of law and order.

Peter Barkie took up the post in July and is working to restore command and control in a force that, in the past few years, has done more damage than the criminals in Alotau.

When speaking to this newsroom, PPC Barkie described the island province’s law and order situation as “out of control”.

Milne Bay establishes procurement committee

Their swearing-in ceremony was held today (21st September).

Their swearing in was also followed by Samarai-Murua District Procurement Committee’s as the second district in the Southern Region after the North Fly District.

Chief executive officer of the National Procurement Commission (NPC), Simon Bole, said the procurement process is the first step towards service delivery and provinces and districts must make it their immediate priority to get the committee fully established.

Heed weather warning, do not go to sea

He sounded this warning after two men went missing when their dinghy capsized on December 24, 2019, in the waters of Esa’ala district. This is a separate incident from another dinghy that also capsized on the same day, with only one person reported missing.

Tobesa said some of his officers have already carried out awareness in Alotau town and nearby villages, urging locals to adhere to disaster warnings.

Residents urged to act responsibly

Acting provincial police commander, George Bayagau, says he expects them to observe the law whilst celebrating.

“I will have police currently on operation to monitor the town and the province as well and if anything arises, we are prepared to deal with them according to law.”

The province, famous for its beautiful islands and peace-loving people, has been making headlines for the wrong reasons.

Milne Bay police boss on rise in crime

Major crimes like sea piracy and armed robbery have been on the rise since.

The infamous Tommy Baker escaped from the Giligili correctional holding cell in 2016 and since then, criminal elements believed to be part of his gang have been terrorising the quiet province of Milne Bay.

“Tommy Baker has connections both within and outside of the province, and he has been constantly doing these things and we know very well his activities cover Oro (Northern) and Morobe Province, and also in NCD and Central Province,” said acting provincial police commander, George Bayagau.

Community urged to take ownership

The 40 metres Haumu bridge was constructed at a cost of K700,000.

Minister Nali when addressing the people at the opening urged the people to take care of such infrastructures and take responsibility to own it.

"The Government will always provide services but all it is asking for is for people to take ownership and look after it."

Speaking as the Alotau MP, Mr Abel said such infrastructures are important for the Government as it opens up opportunities for people to take part in doing business and other commercial activities.

Armed thugs rob ATM

Milne Bay Acting Provincial Police Commander, Chief Inspector George Baiyagau, said the robbers targeted the estate’s BSP ATM machine and made away with cash in the ATM.

Chief Inspector Baiyagau said the robbery took place at 3am.

He said the seven fully armed suspects used a chainsaw to cut through the estate’s wooden fence to gain access, then held up the security guards and proceeded to use the chainsaw to cut open a shop’s door.

They then used the chainsaw again to cut around the wall that was holding the BSP ATM, which was in the store.