Warning: PNG web sites seem to come and go. The fact of life is that it costs money to host a web site and there is not much return on the outlay to most businesses in PNG. If you do click on a link and use the services or even have some comments to make then please contact the people at the relevant web site and let them know so they at least know that someone has gained some value from their efforts. If you are so inclined them mention that you heard about them from this web site. -- The PNG Gossip Newsletter.
Mention of a website or service does not necessarily mean that this newsletter endorses the website or service
Miscellaneous Web Sites
Thomas H. Slone has sent me an email to say that SIL PNG has launched a new web site -- http://www.pnglanguages.org -- here is the first paragraph from the new website
Papua New Guinea is linguistically the most complex nation of the world. Over 800 languages are spoken in this Pacific country. This site aims to show some of this linguistic diversity by making available the research results carried out by members of SIL.
PNG Business and Tourism Directory
PNG Business and Tourism Directory -- http://www.pngbd.com -- This web site is probably the most useful stopping point for anyone interested in finding out more about PNG. Many businesses use the web site on a daily basis to find out the foreign exchange rate as the rates, on the web site, are updated by all the major PNG banks on a regular basis throughout the working day but the web site offers more than that. The best way to find out what it has is to visit the site.
If you are looking for the history of PNG then a good place to start is the Wikipedia free encyclopaedia as well as the other links below.
Chin H Meen
http://www.chmsupersound.com -- and -- http://chm.com.pg
Port Moresby Hospital
As mentioned previously the Port Moresby General Hospital has had to close being offered to the public due to limited staff working around December and January. During this period operations would be only done only for emergency cases while any other non-urgent operation would be deferred until the hospital had enough doctors to cope with the high number of operations that they normally have to do. A number of wards have also been closed and patients have been moved to selected wards where there are nurses working.
It has been reported that nurses at the Kavieng hospital in New Ireland province, Modilon General Hospital in Madang, and Goroka have returned to work.
Cracks in the bitumen at the Kassam Pass sector of the Highlands Highway are causing concern because it is likely they will cause economic disaster and social well being of people in the Highlands. The cracks are estimated to be 10 to 15 metres long and between 20 to 40 centimetres wide in some places. A recent landslip at Kassam Pass has taken about 15 to 10 metres of the main road with further cracks developing all over the subsurface. Locals are charging up to K20.00 for help assisting motorists to pass over the landslip area. It was reported that there was only enough room for small cars to get past the landslip area.
The Festive Season has taken its toll on the production of this newsletter. Does anyone have any articles that can be used in the next newsletter?
The National Newspaper has reported that over 90 million tonnes of waste rock and tailings are discharged by the Ok Tedi Mine Ltd (OTML) into the Fly River each year causing a major environmental impact on Ok Tedi and Fly rivers. The effect of this are expected to last for 200 years or longer. OK Tedi communications manager Jane Mills told The National in an interview that the amount of sediments coming from the Strickland River into the Fly River is two times more than the sediments from Fly River above Evirill Junction of Ok Tedi River. Mr Jim Venese, OTML's environment manager said OTML is reviewing the mine waste management plan with four possible options to deal with mine waste.
MAF Airfares Subsidised
The Western Province gas announced that they have allocated K500,000 towards subsidising airfares on the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) airline service. This is to help the people who have to use remote airstrips no longer used by commercial airlines. Often the only other means of travel in the province were by walking along the waterways or by dinghies that were usually time-consuming when there was a matter of urgency. The airline services all the remote and central routes in the province including covering connections to Port Moresby and Mt. Hagen. MAF has had a long-standing commitment to servicing the remote areas of PNG but even they have to charge a realistic fare to recover operating costs.
There has been an increase of activity coming from Mt Garbuna volcano in Talasea, West New Britain province and a stage one alert has been issued by the Rabaul Volcano Observatory (RVO).
Shops in the national capital have been warned against selling expired goods. The warning has come from a group of health inspectors based in the National Capital District Commission after removing goods from a supermarket in Konedobu that had either expired or did not have labels. Many goods from Asian countries were also removed from the shelves for not having labels having labels in foreign language. The inspections were carried out under the Food and Sanitation Act that gave them the power to search a premise without a warrant.
A mother of six will serve a suspended 20-month sentence for stealing K50,000 from her employer. She was convicted by National Court judge Justice Nicholas Kirriwom for stealing the money from Chemcare Pharmacy in 2003. She has repaid K10,000 back to Chemcare.
Consumers of electricity will have to dig deeper into their pockets next year to find an extra 10 percent to pay for services provide. PNG Power Limited has been granted a tariff increase of 9.52 percent from the 1st of January 1 by the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC). PNG Power relies heavily on diesel fuel for power generation in most provinces of the country and the cost of producing power in these areas is very high.
It has been announced that aid to PNG from Australia next year (2006) will be "in line" with the Government's medium term development strategy (MTDS). In the past, some of Australia's very substantial aid funding commitments have not been consistent with the priorities of PNG and that has resulted in some programs not continuing or being of long-term benefit to the country. Future aid funding will be prioritised to the areas of improved governance, sustainable economic growth, improved stability and service delivery and combating HIV/AIDS.
National Broadcasting Commission
The Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, has launched a digital broadcasting studio at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) head office at Five Mile in Port Moresby. He also urged the NBC to use more Pidgin and Motu languages in its programmes. The NBC has been using the new system for the last four weeks before the official launch.
Princess Erica Express
Many people, including students and children, have been stranded at the Port Moresby main wharf after rough waves cracked the fibreglass bow of the Princess Erica Express. The ship, bound for Alotau, encountered rough seas about 14 miles outside the Basilisk passage, off Fairfax Harbour that resulted in the return to the wharf.
Mount Hagen Hospital
The Moge Komunka-Kuipi tribe living on the southeast side of Mt Hagen has donated K18,760 to the Mt Hagen General Hospital as its Christmas present. They also gave truckloads of garden produce to the hospital. Minister for Environment and Conservation William Duma, who was present at the ceremony, chipped in a further K18,000 as his Christmas present to the hospital, bringing the total donation to K36,760. This vital and much-needed assistance was made following a plea by the hospital fundraising committee to all tribes in the province to help in running the hospital efficiently
Drink Drive Warning
Hand in hand with the festive season there is always a warning against drinking and driving. This year is no exception. The officer in charge of traffic police Inspector Andy Anderson has issued a warning to all motorists not to drive after drinking liquor. Already there have been three fatal road accidents attributed to drink driving in the city over the past two weeks. A pedestrian has also been killed in a hit and run incident. The unidentified victim was believed to have been under the influence of liquor when he was hit and killed.
Seven people have been killed and 12 others seriously injured in a fight between family members of the Okoyape sub-clan living around the township of the giant Porgera Gold Mine (PJV). The fight started following a compensation payment of K154,000 by PJV to the sub-clan for using their land for dumping waste. However, a dispute erupted between the clan members resulting in a fight which later involved people from other clans and tribes. It has been reported that the fight started when family members who had received the money refused to share it with their extended family members. During the fight that resulted from the dispute, seven people were killed.
Many big businesses are upset at the reported sacking of Telikom board member Rod Mitchell after the recent unveiling of a major improvement plans for the phone company. The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the business sector was "fed up" with the conduct of Telikom. Chamber president David Conn has said that his organisation had warmly welcomed Mr Mitchell's appointment as the representative of the members of the private sector superannuation fund, Nasfund.
Telikom have made all sorts of promises regarding the upgrading of the mobile telephone network and Internet bandwidth but over Christmas they could not even keep their existing network working. Calls to some locations were simple not possible due to the failure of local infrastructure. The airline industry has had to put up with the failure of the airline network between Cairns and Port Moresby due to the continual failure of the undersea cable between the two countries. Perhaps Telikom should spend some money on getting the existing network into order before attempting upgrades to an increasingly failing network.
Approx Exchange Rates
The PNG Kina will buy approximately the following overseas currency.
US $ 0.3100
Aust $ 0.4163
NZ $ 0.4474
UK Pound Stg 0.1750
Jap Yen 35.67
Sing $ 0.5148
HK $ 2.3966
Can $ 0.3590
Swiss fr 0.3979
Over 3000 people have been affected by food shortage in the North Fly district of Western Province, due to continuous heavy rain. The rain has affected food crops, especially taro and kaukau. The taro crops have developed leaf blight and insects, pests and wild pigs were destroying other food crops. The problem is so severe that schools closed early for the Christmas break and people are now going hungry. Compounding the problem is the washing away of the food gardens by the frequent landslides being caused by the heavy rainfall.
Police have carried out an eviction order in the National Capital District causing over 200 people from more than 50 homes at a six-mile squatter settlement being made homeless. National Capital District police commander Tony Wagambie's office said the eviction order was carried out by the National Capital District Commission and not police. National Capital District City manager Peter Loko said he was not aware of the eviction and could not comment.
PNG Liquefied Gas
A company from China is looking at the possibility of setting up a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in PNG to sell in the China. The company has also discussed a plan to build a gas generated power plant with the LNG should their proposal become a reality.
Western Highlands Governor
Some people have written to the local newspapers questioning the whereabouts of the Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti. Mr. Wingti has now broken the silence over his long absence in the province saying the reason for his absence was due to health issues he needed to sort out overseas. He also said that he has still been doing his job despite not being seen in the province.
The PNG Defence Force will get two more Australian officers posted to key positions to assist with its reform program, boosting the Australian contingent in PNG to 20 officers.
1st January - New Year's Day
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games -- March 2006.
8th of April to the 16th of April 2006-- National Game Fishing Titles
PNG 31st Independence Anniversary - 16th September 2006
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