10 Aug 2011

PNG's new prime minister deems government jet an unnecessary extravagance

1:39 pm on 10 August 2011

In one of the first major decisions made by the new Papua New Guinea government, prime minister Peter O'Neill has ordered the immediate sale of the executive jet bought by the former government.

NBC News reports the plane was purchased for just over 53 million US dollars and costs nearly ten million each year to operate.

Mr O'Neill says the money could be diverted to the health and education sectors and the country's transport infrastructure.

He announced the sale in his inaugural speech, directing the management of Air Niugini to put the aircraft up for sale.

The new government has also outlined its objectives in the ten months before the election.

Mr O'Neill says this includes the restoration of run-down education and health facilities, the rehabilitation of major highways around the country and the introduction of free education from elementary to grade 10 next year.

A new alternate national port is to be developed in the Gulf province while the Lae port development will be fast tracked.

The prime minister said Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby and Nadzab Airport in Lae will be extended, and they'll aim to improve domestic maritime transport.