26 Oct 2009

Southern Provincial Administrator backs new PNG transitional authorities

4:10 pm on 26 October 2009

The provincial administrator in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands says preparations for the administrative transition of the new Hela province are progressing well.

Transitional authorities were established by parliament last week for PNG's recently-appoved provinces, Hela and Jiwaka, to prepare for both provincial administrations to operate after the 2012 elections.

However the deputy opposition leader Bart Philemon says the creation of the new provinces will only increase the burden on the country's ailing public service.

But Southern Highlands Administrator William Powi says having two smaller provinces will help effective management of basic services.

He says at this stage, he is satisfied with his administration's management of the transition, having taken stock of all government facilities, institutions and staff.

"We are doing quite well in terms of our preparation. Administratively, the demarcation is really clear, we have administrative framework on the ground that will constitute Hela provincial admnistration and the mainstream Southern highlands."