16 Jun 2008

The Governor of PNG New Ireland says autonomy to be achieved within existing law

7:40 pm on 16 June 2008

The governor of Papua New Guinea's New Ireland province, former Prime Minister, Sir Julius Chan, says the autonomy his government wants is allowed for in changes made to the Organic Law in 1995.

Sir Julius revealed his Government's intentions to push for autonomy last week.

He says New Ireland is a major contributor to the national purse, particularly through the huge Lihir gold mine and he says the province has the capacity to manage its own resources.

Sir Julius says the province aspires to be more self reliant, autonomous, but within PNG, and this is what the constitutional changes of 1995 had already allowed for.

"It can only improve governance and make provinces, particularly places like New Ireland, which is about 800 miles or more from Port Moresby, to govern more efficiently and be able to take corrective measures immediately - that's probably the main reason."

Sir Julius Chan