Case 1.1 – The Central City Project
The Central City Project at Bautama, a 30-minute drive from Port Moresby, headlines the list of risky State investment projects in the last decade. The project was commissioned by the Central Provincial Government with the support of the National Government on October 9, 2007 with the aim of establishing a provincial headquarters for the Central Province (Government, 2007). The actual amount of funds allocated by the National Government for this purpose is still unclear.
In a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in 2013, the NEC endorsed a proposal by the Department of National Planning and Monitoring for the Central City Project where Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said that the Department would facilitate an independent project review and audit of the project (The National, 2013). Plans for the establishment of Central City in Bautama was welcomed by members of the public where in March 2013, the business community in the National Capital District backed the development of the new township as the capital for Central Province, saying they were ready to give their support (Wapar, 2013). However, successive governments have not published information showing details of firms that submitted bids, provided the description of the services provided, contract value and terms and conditions.
During the opening of the Sir Reuben Taureka Highway prior to the General Elections in 2017, Prime Minister O’Neill made a commitment to the people of Central Province that the PNC-led Government will build Central City after the elections saying that he was aware of the misuse of millions assigned for the project by past governments and assured the people that the current government will complete the project (PNG Today, 2017). However, since the elections there has been no attempt by the Government to revive the project and the status of the project remains.
~ Reference/Bibliography ~
Central to launch City Project. The National. (2018, January 5). Retrieved from https://www.thenational.com.pg/central-launch-city-project/
PM O’Neill Commits To Building More Infrastructure Including Central City. PNG Today. (2017, May 18). Retrieved from https://news.pngfacts.com/2017/05/pm-oneill-commits-to-building-more.html
Central City Plan Endorsed. The National. (2013, April 3). Retrieved from https://www.thenational.com.pg/central-city-plan-endorsed/
Agarobe wants a second look at projects. The National. (2017, August 23). Retrieved from https://www.thenational.com.pg/agarobe-wants-second-look-current-projects/ Wapar, D. (2013, March 12). Business backs Central City. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.com.pg/business-backs-central-city/
~ Photograph Caption ~
Upgrade of Magi Highway to four lane – an unprecedented development for the National Capital of Papua New Guinea, Photo credit: Ken Atasoa, Twitter feed.