Peter O'neil

Papua New Guinea says it was a ‘terrible mistake’ to buy $5.6M in cars to impress world leaders

Papua New Guinea — which is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, with an average GDP per capita of $2,613 — dropped a mind-boggling $5.6 million on a fleet of luxury cars to impress regional leaders during a 2018 conference.

Nearly three years later, the country admits the shallow purchase was a “terrible mistake” and is trying to recoup its losses by offloading the multiple Maseratis at a hefty loss.

O’Neill Defends Blacklock

O’Neill further claimed that Blacklock’s arrest was ‘silly and unnecessary’ intimidation of innocent professional by Police and the Minister for Justice who has now become the complainant even though he is not a party to the employment contract. 

He further explained that the parties including PNG Power Board and employee Carolyn Blacklock have signed after consent from shareholder Kumul Consolidated Holdings and approval by the National Executive Council of the acting appointment. 

O’Neill before inquiry

The former Prime Minister said he is surprised that senior ministers who were part of his 2014 cabinet, were not briefed on the K3 billion UBS loan and other transactions. 

“For any NEC cabinet decision, the Prime Minister does not make unilateral decisions,” said Mr O’Neill.

He said the complex transaction to acquire the K3 billion loan from UBS was to buy back shares from IPIC.

In 2019, the Somare-led government acquired loans from IPIC, Abu Dhabi to fund the PNG LNG project.

O’Neill raises health issues

The former Prime Minister and Member for Ialibu-Pangia Peter O'Neill has issued a statement saying the closure or scaling down of vital health services by many hospitals around the country is unacceptable when we are now facing a COVID-19 emergency. 

He claims that the COVID-19 pandemic has been mismanaged from day one, despite the millions in equipment and funding coming in.

Infrastructure development vital for future

This was remarked Prime Minister Peter O'Neil during the official opening of the improved Girua Airport.

O'Neil said this morning's occasion is a testament to the government's vision to modernize all institutional asserts nationwide.

O'Neil further stated the Girua Airport is one of successful results of the external loans acquired by the government.

The K43 million rehabilitated Girua Airport boasts new pavements, runway, water and sewage systems and upgraded interior of the terminal.

Progress made in processing Manus asylum centre closure

This is to comply with the PNG Supreme Court ruling of April 26, 2016, that the centre was unconstitutional.

According to PNG Industry News O’Neill met with Turnbull and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, this week to discuss the closing of the centre.

“Further technical consultations will take place at the start of 2017 to move to the next level of this process. Our co-operation on this policy has saved countless lives of children, women and men who would otherwise have attempted to cross the Indian Ocean in unsafe boats,” said O’Neill.

No changes to mining act

O’Neill announced this during the PNG Chamber of Mining and Petroleum Conference in Sydney on Monday.

He said any new changes will be left to the new parliament.

“I want to state categorically that there will be no changes to the Mining Act prior to the 2017 National Election.

“It is only right that the new Parliament be granted the mandate to carry forward any changes to the existing Mining legislation,” he said.

PM seeks to host APEC mining meeting

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, says the hosting of the infrequent meeting will create opportunities for partnerships.

“As part of Papua New Guinea’s hosting of the APEC process, we will seek to host an APEC Mining Ministerial Meeting.

“There have only been three APEC Mining Ministerial Meetings in the past ten years. I see these meetings as essential for promoting co-operation and innovation in this sector,” O’Neil said.