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Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth about 36 to 38 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.
For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.google.com
Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.
If a longer URL in this newsletter appears to be broken, please manually cut and then paste the link into your browser.
Thanks to QANTAS http://www.qantas.com.au - This newsletter will be shorter than normal. Yet again I have had a suitcase lost in transit from Port Moresby to Melbourne, Australia. This time I went Brisbane, Sydney and then onto Melbourne but the case has ended up who knows where with all my disks and newspaper cuttings for this edition of the newsletter.
Weather details around PNG courtesy of Yahoo
PNG CensusIt has been predicted that the census figures will be available sometime early next year.
Credit UnionA new lending scheme has been launched to help rural people increase their savings and credit facilities. The Evangelical Lutheran Church has established the Credit Union called Putim and Kisim that should be registered with the Savings and Loans Societies. The Hans Seidel Foundation, Credit Union Australia, AusAID and Australian Volunteer International all have provided support for the training of the various local treasurers of the credit union which qualified them to run small unions in their own areas.
Mud CrabsMud crabs have been on sales around Moresby recently. The going price has been from K8 to K10 per crab.
TransportationThe Transport and Civil Aviation Minister, Bart Philemon recently outlined the policies and objectives of the government in the transport sector. He said the development of an efficient transport system was hindered by the high costs of investment, maintenance and high vehicle operating costs. Apart from that there are administrative problems, some of which are long project gestation periods, land acquisition and encroachment, shortage of funds and escalating costs etc.
Civil AviationA new Civil Aviation Bill has replaced the Civil Aviation Act (Chapter 239) of 20 years ago. The change has moved the Civil Aviation Agency from being a public sector organisation to a soon to be established commercial authority.
MosqueThe building of a Mosque in the Port Moresby suburb of Hohola has provoked many debates in the local press on the whether a non-Christian church should be allowed in to PNG. The new building was moving along without much interest from the general public until the dome was put into place recently.
Unitech Library, LaeThanks to a donation of K12,000 from Pacific Mobile Communications - Unitech staff and students will be able access the Matheson Library collection. Borrowers have not been able to use the collection due to the fact that the computer system was approximately 10 years old and had stop working six or so months ago forcing library staff to physically check the library's collection.
Lae Traffic BlitzFive organisations have joined forces to conduct a major traffic blitz to target unroadworthy vehicles, drunk drivers and overloading in and around Lae. They are the Police, the Department of Transport and Civil Aviation, Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited, the National Road Safety Council and the Department of Morobe.
Bulolo - WauVillagers of Mare village will no longer have to walk for miles to find fresh water thanks to the Lutheran Development Services extension program. The village now has 36 taps installed that will save the 2000 plus villagers a walk of at least five kilometres in their search for water.
Recent PricesFlame Self-Raising Flour 10 x 5 Kg bags K60.95
Pacific Sardines 48 x 15 oz tins K79.55
Huon Gulf Lodge in Lae has advertised rooms for K80.00 including Air Con, IDD telephones, colour TV and a mini bar fridge. Check out other accommodation from the same group of hotels at Coral Sea Hotels
Oil ShutdownChevron Niugini has announced that oil production will be cut for up to six weeks at the Moran oil field so that the operator can assess the damage caused by a recent landslide.
PNG currently produces 70,000 barrels a day. 30,000 each from Kutubu and Gobe and 10,000 from Moran.
It is estimated that the shutdown will cause the project partners to lose K30 - K35 million over the anticipated six-week shutdown.
Downstream ProcessingSir Paulias Matane has urged the govt. to look at diversifying the country's economy by moving towards the downstream processing of resources such as timber, oil, gas and minerals.
Sir Paulias said it was a fact that as the country was moving closer to the 25th anniversary of independence more than 85 per cent of the economy was still under foreign control.
East New BritainLandowners have been urged to buy shares in a hotel project being developed by jointly by the East New Britain Development Corporation and the Airways hotel at Ralum in Kokopo. The project is part of the plan to develop Kokopo as the new provincial capital for East New Britain.
The East New Britain provincial Government has allocated funds in this year's budget for research into the downstream processing of copra and cocoa.
Milne BayThe governor of Milne Bay has announced that the sealing of the 24-kilometre road between the airport at Gurney and the town of Alotau could start as early as next year thanks to successful talks with the Works Department and AusAID in Port Moresby.
10 Year Health PlanSupport for the recently announced 10 year health plan has been obtained from donor agencies such as AusAID, the Asian Development Bank, World Health Organisation, UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund.
Goroka ShowThe famous Eastern Highlands, Goroka show will be held over the 25th PNG Independence weekend. Similar exhibitions will be held to the other shows that have been held recently in the Highlands of PNG. Goroka will be having traditional singsing groups, greasy pole climbing, cane walking (Similar to tight rope walking) plus other cultural events.
Admission will be K4 for adults and K2 for children and organisers have advised that no tickets will be sold at the gate. Tickets must be brought from selected outlets in Goroka.
For further details contact the show organisers on (675) 732 336 and facsimile (675) 732 3681
Political Parties Integrity BillThis bill has progressed one more step through the necessary parliamentary channels before being approved into the legislation of PNG. The bill has been introduced in a bid to produce political stability and help develop the nation's future.
At the moment many politicians and indeed political parties swing from one side of parliament to another. It is not unusual in PNG politics for an opposition member to become a cabinet minister overnight.
A fair percentage of politicians have been elected into power on as little as 20 per cent of the vote. The PNG Electoral system allows for first past the post counting so when you have 20 candidates in the one electorate who are all doing fairly well with attracting voters then it is possible that one candidate could win with just a little more than five percent of the vote.
With a system like this many politicians only last one term in parliament so if he / she can become part of the cabinet then exposure is greater and the chances of staying in power are therefore greater. If they do lose at the next elections then they have at least made more money from the added responsibility allowances whilst in power plus whatever else they can get.
Scientific AdvanceThe Angau Memorial Hospital Dental Clinic has hopefully done away with the use of syringes in giving an anaesthetic with the introduction of computer controlled delivery anaesthetic system for insuring the patient has the correct dose. It is said that more than 50 per cent of patients fear an anaesthetic syringe at the dentist.
POM Stock ExchangeAnother company has listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange bringing the number of listed companies to 10.
The Credit Corporation, established in 1978, becomes the 10th firm to list. Other companies already listed are: Highlands Pacific, Orogen Minerals, Steamships, InterOil, Oil Search, Lihir Gold, Cardia Technologies, Cue Energy Resources and Mosaic Oil.
LinksVisit http://www.galen.u-max.com/papua_new_guinea.htm for some magnificent photographs of the people from the Karawari river region of PNG or http://www.galen.u-max.com/png.htm for some general photos. Be warned though, the photographs are very large and will take a long time to load.
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To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter queue please e-mail your contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org