P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 17 Nov 2000

PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay
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St Martins

After many years the St Martins Anglican Church at Boroko has finally opened the new church building located on the same site as the old church. The new building will be able to seat more people in greater comfort than the extended old church. The Bishop of Port Moresby, Michael Hough, opened the building appropriately enough on St Martin's day.

Salvation Army

The Salvos will receive K6 million for health and education programs from AusAID. The director general of AusAID said that the funding represented a significant new direction in the way Australian aid was given to PNG. The Salvation Army said they will use the money to implement a multi-faceted health and literacy training program for participating rural communities (and people) in the Eastern Highlands and Central Province. The funding will also be used to help build an administrative office in Port Moresby and to extend the facilities of the Army's Boroko Primary School.

Divine Word University

AusAID will also help the Divine Word University with K10.8 million to go towards the construction costs of new buildings on campus.

Catholic Donation

The British High Commission has donated money to the Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby to complete a training centre and to help conduct health education training.

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look at http://maps.expedia.com and then click on the "find a map option". Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby -- http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html

Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.

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 somewhere around 30 - 31 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you are really keen on finding out what the Kina is worth a currency converter for most world currencies can be located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html

TV in PNG via Aircraft (1965)

A reader, thanks Rick, has supplied an article taken from "Monitor - November 2000. Australian Journal of Electronic Engineers. The article is about a small group of Australian engineers commissioned by the Australian federal government to investigate the possibility of introducing educational TV in Papua New Guinea, then still known as Papua and New Guinea. This was in 1965 still considered the early years of television.

The group recommended a system including an airborne transmitter. Even though the proposed system was never adopted, it provides an interesting historical insight into the available technology and the thinking at the time.

If anyone can grab a copy of that article it will make very interesting reading.


The graduation ball for the newly graduated medical fraternity was held at the Islander Hotel last week. Ticket holders for the ball were able to hear the 39 doctors take their Hippocratic oath before enjoying the rest of the night with a fine meal and good music.


Once again the immigration officials at the airport have failed to turn up at work for the arrival of several flights into the country. It is believed that 80 per cent of passengers from Singapore recently were allowed to leave their arrival cards on the immigration desk and walk straight through without being cleared.

Parliamentary Recess

At the end of the current session of parliament the house will rise until the 23rd of July 2001. The 23rd is PNG Remembrance Day. The motion was moved when no opposition members were in the Chamber when it was raised and passed on voices. This long adjournment will mean that the government of Mekere Morauta will then be safe from any no-confidence motion right up until the next elections in 2002.

Income Tax

Proposed amendments to the income tax act will see the following tax rates implemented on income tax.

2000 Orchid Show

Wolfgang Bandisch, the general manager of gardens the National Capital District Commission, declared the show a success. The show, opened by Lady Roslyn Morauta, allowed men and women from PNG to buy orchids at heavily discounted prices. The aim of the show was to successfully celebrate the beauty of PNG orchids.

PMV Fare Increase

Owners of Public Motor Vehicles have demanded an increase in the PMV fare to K1 per ride. This is to help offset the dramatic increase in the cost of fuel and spare parts recently.

Milne Bay

The suspended shipping service between Lae and Alotau should resume this week. The shipping service is seen as an alternative to the expensive airfares charged by Air Niugini and other airlines between the two ports. For comparison the airfare between Lae and Alotau costs K192 return for an adult passenger whilst the same trip on Air Niugini would cost the passenger K800.

Miss PNG Quest

Ephreddy Jubilee has been crowned Miss PNG for the year 2000. She also took out the Miss Charity Queen as well raising K43,000 for the Red Cross. Ephreddy, the tallest of the contestants standing 1.87 metres, is from the Tolai community of East New Britain. Her father, a lawyer like his daughter, has just become the interim governor of East New Britain. Ephreddy represented Courts Superstores.

Highlands Governors

At the recently held Highlands Governors conference the Governors agreed to petition the National Government to allocate K22 million for maintenance of the highways in the highlands.

Food Tests

Australia has donated an Inductive Coupled Plasma atomic emission spectroscopy machine worth more than K600,000 to the National Agricultural Research Institute. Thanks to AusAid - PNG can now perform sample analytical services on fertility status of soils and nutritional status of leaves locally. Other services offered are nutrient status of crops, vanilla and spice analysis, water and environmental analysis, rubber quality certification.

Starving Soldiers

Once again the soldiers of PNG located in Bougainville are going without food. Soldiers who normally get three meals are day are going without any food.

Education Assistance

This year it looks as if foreign governments and aid agencies will have donated almost K120 million towards the education of people in PNG. This amounts to approximately 90 per cent of the education development budget.


After disruptions caused by the NPF / Anti-Privatisation rally shops in Madang are returning back to normal.

Stop Work Meetings

Whilst Lae ground to a stop during the current stop works meetings over privatisation and the possible write down of National Provident Fund contributions Moresby experienced very little disruptions. It is expected that Moresby will suffer as the meetings escalate.

Both the Lae Chamber of Commerce and the Morobe Provincial Law and Order Committee have condemned the stop work protests.

The electricity outages apparently have nothing to do with the stop work meetings. Elcom have said the blackouts are due to low water pressure reaching the privately run power plant in Port Moresby. The pressure is low due to refurbishment works being carried out at the water treatment plant located at Mount Eriama.

Kar Kar Island

The Geological Survey division of the Mining Department has warned the people of Kar Kar Island that they will not monitor the volcano activity on the island. This is due to the fact that instruments put out to monitor the activity have been destroyed twice as part of a continuing landowner dispute.

Fuel Prices

The price of fuel in PNG has risen yet again. Sir Mekere Morauta has said that the cost is worrying and a possible solution was a subsidy on fuel to be funded by the national budget. The year 2000 budget allowed for a price of US$17 per barrel whereas the price now was US$30 per barrel. Another factor is the fall in value of the PNG Kina to little more than 30 cents to the Kina.

The current prices without the 10 per cent Value Added Tax is - Petrol K 1.56 per litre, Diesel 1.02 per litre, Kerosene 97 toea per litre. Aviation gasoline will stay at K1.16 per litre


With the spread of malaria into the highland regions of PNG, malaria continues to be the biggest killer disease in PNG.


The Diabetes Association was launched recently. PNG has about 160,000 cases of diabetes in the country and it is estimated that as little as less than ten per cent of these people know they are suffering from the disease. The PNG Government has pledged support of K50,000 to help the Association.


The Australian and PNG governments have signed a K100 million agreement to support the National AIDS Council. The purpose of the support is to help implement the medium term HIV/AIDS plan with the overall goal to reduce the impact of the disease in PNG.

UPS Power Supplies

I must point out to readers that the UPS available from Computers and Communications is actually a 650 VA unit rather than a 600 VA unit. This makes the UPS even greater value when compared with the other lessor UPS available around PNG.

now on a toea per VA scale that equates to :-


The Enga Provincial Government has given K1 million towards the revival of a pyrethrum factory in the Western highlands. Most of the money will be used to the factory and machines. The factory is scheduled to reopen in January next year.


The Government has committed itself to spend K1 billion or about K100 million per year for the next ten years to maintain existing roads. In the past ten years only K30 million per year was set aside to maintain these roads so consequentially the roads have deteriorated to a very poor state.


The Government plans to invest K6 billion in transport infrastructure over the next ten years. K23 million will go towards feasibility studies, K132 for design work, K2.5 billion for maintenance and K3.2 billion for upgrading and construction. The Government also plans to use in excess of K3 billion for capital investment. The biggest part of the capital investment money will be split in the following manner - K3 billion for land transport, K88 million for water transport and K31 million for civil aviation.


Here are some extracts from a few web pages about the Second World War in Bougainville. The pages have been pieced together by Lt. Edwin O. Booth from his own experiences as a scout behind enemy lines and if you go to the html version of these pages at http://www.michie.net/news/g001116.html and you will see a couple of photographs taken during the war. The copyright holder of the following material is acknowledged as being Ed Booth.

Please take a look at the following sites -- http://www.geocities.com/edbooth_1 and

http://members.tripod.com/Ed_Booth/Ed_Booth_Web_Page_HTML.html -- Postwar History Of Bougainville

Husband, Wife and child

http://www.members.tripod.com/~Ed_Booth -- Jungle Patrols

In this quote he is talking about a photograph of a typical Bougainville Family taken in 1944

Typical Bougainvillean Family - 1944

This is a group of Bougainville native women and children who were sequestered in a compound which they and their men constructed. They fled the Japanese into the US perimeter. "Another interruption in the lives of Bougainvilleans was the occupation by the Japanese Imperial Army during WW II. When the tide of the war in the Pacific turned, the Americans landed on West Bougainville and where there was fierce fighting between the two forces. The people did not quite know why their land was once more occupied by foreigners and being used as a platform to fight their wars away from their shores.

"Hundreds of Bougainvilleans were unnecessarily killed in the fighting."


Traditional Dancing

Here is a tidbit or should that be titbit?? of information I understand has come out of one of the Australian towns close to Port Moresby.

There is little interest in the dance group as most of the venues approached have indicated concerns over "bare breasted women"! You and I know that this is normal PNG custom and traditional dress, however, it seems that there are moral concerns. Perhaps if the performers could be convinced to "cover up" a little bit then a better response might be obtained.

Another Cabinet change

With the inclusion of Samson Napo as Culture and Tourism Minsiter the Cabinet is now made up in the following way:-

PNG newspaper sites

Post Courier -- http://www.postcourier.com.pg National -- http://www.thenational.com.pg The Independent -- http://www.tiare.net.pg/independent

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Created - 17 Nov 2000
Updated - 18 Feb 2001
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