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Papua New Guinea

Lack of services lamented

Tunut, a National Alliance party member, unseated deputy governor and incumbent president Ambrose Silul of People’s Progress Party.

His election was witnessed by locals who gathered in numbers at the Tumbawinlam House last Thursday.

He said Lihir Island has been deprived of government services despite having the third largest gold mine in the world.

“Over the years the people of Lihir have not felt the impact of the funds from the national government’s improvement programs directed to the provincial, district and the local level government. The only revenue we have is the internal revenue we receive as royalties from the mine,” he said.

But he stressed that the royalties, worth millions paid into the Nimamar LLG, has made no impact in the livelihood of the people.

“The first thing I will do is to overhaul how the budget of the Nimamar LLG will revolve to the people of Lihir with the royalties that is directed into the administration.”

He said the budget of the LLG will be well structured to benefit the people rather than the administration.

“If you visit the entire island on the western and to the eastern tip of the island, you will notice the rundown state of infrastructure and road conditions. To get to the western tip of the island will only require four-wheel drive vehicles to manoeuvre through. School and health infrastructure are wearing off and drug supplies in the aid posts and clinics are inadequate,” Tunut reiterated.

He said only a fraction of the population that reside within the perimeters of the the mine site receive benefits from the mining company – Newcrest Mine Limited.  

Tunut said to look after the affairs of the people of Lihir, there has to be an audit made on the works of the previous administration in order to make a fresh start. 

“The people of Lihir do not want any political affiliation but want services to be delivered.”

He said the Nimamar LLG under his leadership will support and work alongside Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt to deliver projects for his LLG.

He urged all stakeholders, churches and the entire population, including the landowners of Lihir Gold Mine, to unite because the future of Lihir will depend entirely on them.

(Newly-elected president of Nimamar LLG, Stanley Tunut)

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