12 Mar 2012

Lack of funds from PNG Government jeopardising Rabaul Queen disaster inquiry

5:33 pm on 12 March 2012

A lack of funds is jeopardising the inquiry into the sinking of the Papua New Guinea ferry the MV Rabaul Queen.

More than 300 people, many of them students, are estimated to have died when the ship sank on February the 2nd but officials have not been able to confirm that number.

Plans for an inquiry were announced within days of the sinking, with an Australian commissioner and assisting counsel appointed, and their budget calculated at about six million dollars.

However no funds have been allocated to the commission and our correspondent in Lae, Oseah Philemon, says local media suggest that could stop the inquiry going ahead.

"It just said that the people in the inquiry are concerned that there has been no money made available for the inquiry to commence hearings and that if money does not come quickly enough, possibly, this week then they would all give up and go home."

Our correspondent in PNG, Oseah Philemon.