18 Jul 2006

Bougainville promised more money from PNG national government

6:30 pm on 18 July 2006

Papua New Guinea's autonomous province, Bougainville, is set to receive substantially more funding through the 2006 Supplementary and 2007 budgets.

The chair of PNG's most powerful bureaucratic committee, the Central Agencies Co-ordination Committee, or CACC, Joshua Kalinoe, made the commitment after a two day visit to Bougainville last week.

The CACC is the Government's key advisory committee on major policy issues.

The Post Courier reports Mr Kalinoe, who is Chief Secretary to the Government, saying the country's political stability and healthy economy mean it is now possible to increase assistance to Bougainville.

He says for the 2006 Supplementary Budget and the 2007 Budget, the Government will look at supporting the ABG in rebuilding facilities and institutions.

Bougainville's President Joseph Kabui says failure by the Government to deliver on that promise, as with many Government promises in the past, would leave Bougainvilleans with no choice but to opt for independence in the 2015 referendum.

Mr Kabui says Bougainville has been let down many times before and he hopes that the latest promises don't also evaporate.