2 Apr 2012

Partial funding allows PNG ferry sinking inquiry to begin

7:39 am on 2 April 2012

The secretary of the Papua New Guinea Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the MV Rabaul Queen says the government has given an assurance that it will fund the investigation.

Mathew Yuangu says the government has released about a quarter of the money needed for the inquiry into the ferry's sinking off the Morobe coast almost two months ago.

Plans for an inquiry at an estimated cost of about six million US dollars were announced within days of the disaster and commissioners appointed but Mr Yuangu says the government had to find the money before work could begin.

He says there's enough money to cover the circuit of hearings.

"It was estimated to be about 12 million - over 12 million actually - that was the budget put forward to the government. So far from the government we have received three million kina and we have been assured that the balance will be coming shortly."

Mathew Yuangu says the circuit of hearings in Lae, Kokopo, Buka and Kimbe will begin after Easter.