Prime Minister's Christmas Message

23/12/2013 10:53

"2014 to be a historic year for resource sector"

It is with pleasure that I to extend to all of you my best wishes for a safe and Happy Christmas.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to give thanks for the wonderful contribution His Church makes to the life of our nation, our communities, and families in every part of Papua New Guinea.
It is also a time when families come together, with family members often travelling long distances to re-unite to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
I hope you have the opportunity to join your family, and your friends, in the celebrations.
As the New Year approaches you are entitled to ask me, as your Prime Minister, what does the year ahead hold for you, and for your family?
I can say with total confidence that the year ahead will see continued improvement in your living standards, principally through the quality of the basic services Government and Government delivered to you.
And you will see not just an improvement in the quality of services, but a significant change, delivered to you through your Provincial and District administration and Local Level Councils.
I believe this is the change that will help ensure you get the services you are entitled to and that you get them reliably and regularly.
Ever since I entered the National Parliament just over 11 years ago, my number one goal has been to bring about the decentralisation of the delivery of basic services – such as school education, health centres, and building and repairing rural roads.
I am pleased to report to you that real progress has been made – and that processes are in place to enable the National Government to transfer funds directly to you district and your local council for basic services.
I am very proud of our Government for bringing about the genuine decentralisation of not just delivering local services, but deciding local spending priorities to the levels of Government and Public Service that is closest to you, our people.
I believe these important changes will reduce waste and abuse of public money. And they will also mean that you will be able to see how the funds allocated to your district or your council are spent.
We have maintained strong spending on all the key areas that will improve our living standards – and that includes free school education, and free basic health care.
I know there have been frustrations and delays – that can happen when we make radical change in the way services are delivered. The assurance I give you, is that in 2014 there will be a strong focus on delivery, overcoming delays and frustrations.
Our economy is sound, and it is well placed to grow strongly in the future.
The challenge for us is to ensure that the benefits of strong economic growth are shared as widely as possible and right across the nation.
We are focusing on improving opportunity for all, and the best and quickest way we can create real opportunity for you to participate in the growth of our economy, that is to expand our small business, and medium sized, business sector.
This will enable more and more of our citizens to own and operate your own enterprises.
The budget for 2014 provides funding for a range of initiatives, including access to affordable finance, so we can get this important program moving.
The coming year will be a truly historic one for our resource sector. By next Christmas our first Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) project will be fully operational – delivering much needed energy to countries such as China, Japan and Taiwan.
The export of gas will bring in revenue that will transform our economy and our country.
We have prepared for that by working with experts in developing the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which will safeguard our wealth and secure our future for our children.
My fellow Papua New Guineans, I have total confidence the year ahead will be one of real progress, real achievement for our nation.
The last two years have been about laying strong foundations. The year ahead will be about delivering a good government and greater opportunity for our people.
May your Christmas be one of joy and may the New Year bring you every happiness and success.

God bless you all.


Prime Minister