AT A RECENT MEETING of the Goroka Chambers of Commerce it was decided we should make a public statement regarding our dissatisfaction at the obscene unequal distribution of revenue, especially the massive sums being squandered on the South Pacific Games and the National Capital District.
The founding fathers of Papua New Guinea, conscious of the fact that we were erecting a nation out of more ethnic groups than any other nation on earth, framed a Constitution which emphasises that sharing what we have to allow all of us to develop at the same pace.
The Constitution's First National Goal calls for "every effort to be made to achieve an equitable distribution of incomes and other benefits of development among individuals and throughout the various parts of the country."
lt also states "equalisation of services in all parts of the country and every citizen to have equal access to legal processes and all services, governmental or otherwise, that are required for the fulfilment of his or her real need and aspirations".
Previous governments and this present government are guilty of gross dereliction of duty under the Constitution. I can assure the Minister for Sports that none of the millions of PNG rural woman and children will ever bathe in his much vaunted Aquatic Centre.
So what will be the legacy on cost benefit to the vast majority PNG citizens who do not live in NCD? Huge contracts are being handed out mainly to contractors of Chinese and Mediterranean ethnic links with Papua New Guineans picking up the crumbs of being labourers, plant operators and the like.
There is a virtual gold rush in the NCD which is awash with cash. This money belongs to all Papua New Guineans from all provinces and should be shared as per the Constitution.
The continuing media blitz telling us what a wonderful job is being done in vapourising one billion kina on the venues for the Games is becoming extremely annoying although it is hard at times to distinguish who is being promoted, the Games or the Minister.
PNG already has a silver medal on the world stage and that is for being second only to Afghanistan in infant and mother mortalities in child birth. This is something that we should be ashamed of.
The vast sums of money being allocated to NCD actually belong to all the people of PNG.
These disenfranchised asset owners will not be found in the bars and eateries of the likes of the Grand Papua or Airways but in the villages and hamlets throughout PNG mainland and the islands of the far flung atolls of the maritime provinces.
With respect we ask the Prime Minister and his Sports Minister that on the next occasion of ground breaking on ribbon cutting ceremonies in NCD, they stop for a moment and give a thought for the rural people who have suffered in silence and for the many women and children who have paid the ultimate price due to lack of basic medical services.
Terry Shelley wrote this article with the authority of the Goroka Chamber of Commerce