Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

PM meets with Catholic bishops

Prime Minister O’Neill spoke about the invaluable role of the Catholic Church in PNG both in the humanitarian services provided and also in the positive values the Church continues to foster in the people of PNG.

He renewed his invitation to Pope Francis to come to PNG and also announced that a permanent diplomatic mission to the Holy See in Rome would be established by PNG.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed the dinner expressing the Holy Father’s solidarity with the victims of the recent earthquakes in the Southern Highlands of PNG.

PM congratulates PNG athletes

PM O’Neill applauded every athlete who has made it to the games and said the country is behind them all the way.

"I congratulate all athletes who qualified for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” the Prime Minister said in a statement.

"We know a lot of sweat and sacrifice has been required to reach to the Commonwealth Games and each of you must be congratulated.

“So far we have two silver medals in weightlifting events. I congratulate Morea Baru and Dika Toua for their tremendous efforts to win silver in their weightlifting events.

Logging firm illegally taxing locals: Minister

It is alleged the company is applying tax to local staff who earn below the income tax threshold.

In 2011, Parliament increased the tax income threshold from K10,000 to K15,000 per annum, giving tax breaks to those who earn less than the threshold.

Kandrian-Gloucester MP, Joseph Lelang, asked the Prime Minister if he was aware of such practice where companies were taxing employees below the tax income threshold.

He said a letter was sent to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office regarding the issue in his district however, there was no response.

Electoral Boundaries Commission to be announced

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said this in parliament today.

He said the Electoral Boundaries Commission will look at dividing electorates that have big land masses, making it difficult for some District Development Authorities (DDAs) to cover.

The Prime Minister made the announcement when asked by Western Governor, Taboi Awi Yoto.

Governor Yoto said his province is the largest in the country and will need to be considered by the Commission for new boundaries.

O’Neill welcomes EXIM Bank VP

PM O’Neill made the comments after meeting EXIM Bank Vice President, Sun Ping, in Port Moresby last week.

“China is a strong development partner with Papua New Guinea and we look forward to developing additional projects,” the Prime Minister said.

“We have a very clear one-China policy in Papua New Guinea and work together on a range of projects and initiatives that deliver clear benefits for our country and the broader global economy.

“This includes infrastructure delivery, and interests of mutual benefit such as dealing with climate change.

France, PNG ties strengthened

He said with the Papua LNG project construction phase on focus, the engagement between the two countries will continue to grow. 

“Our Government is working with French company TOTAL S.A. and other partners to advance Papua New Guinea’s next major gas project,” stated PM O’Neill.

“This project will inject billions of dollars into our economy, and employ and train thousands of Papua New Guineans.

“All parties will continue to advance the Papua LNG project and create new jobs for our people.”

PM confident on economic recovery

O’Neill told delegates at the 2nd Petroleum and Energy Summit in Port Moresby yesterday that though the shutdown of the PNG LNG Project will cost the Government a lot of money, they will recover.

PM O’Neill however said the partnership with development partners is very important as Government cannot work alone but go in partnership for a win-win situation for both parties.

He said the Government will be working closely with ExxonMobil and Oil Search for the reoperation of the PNG LNG Project.

Micah reconciles with PM, Chan

Micah apologised for his behaviour and statements made against the PM, Sir Julius, former Namatanai MP Byron Chan and Works Minister Michael Nali.

"It has been 2 years since we last spoke," Micah told Sir Julius.

He further asked PM O'Neill to include his number in his contact list.

"Because I heard that you removed my number," Micah said amidst polite laughter from the crowd.

Pandanus mats, large pigs and mis (traditional shell money) were presented by Micah to show his remorse.

Highlands disaster immense: O’Neill

The Prime Minister led a delegation of senior disaster coordination officials, security personnel and donor agencies to affected areas in the Southern Highlands and Hela provinces yesterday to oversee a deeper assessment of logistical requirements.

“There will be no quick fix, the damage from this disaster will take months and years to be repaired,” the Prime Minister said from Tari in Hela Province.

“The delivery of clean water, food and shelter remains our priority, as well as the restoration of other essential services including electricity and communications.”

PNG’s export revenue affected: PM

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, after returning from the affected areas late yesterday afternoon, described the situation as a ‘sad day for PNG’.

“It is unfortunate whilst the economy is turning around and the commodity prices around the global markets have improved, which resulted in the increased in the country’s revenue, we are faced with this enormous challenge.

“Our appeal is to all the people to understand the challenges that few of the provinces have been going through.”