29 Apr 2014

Don't abandon Rabaul, MP urges PNG govt

4:25 am on 29 April 2014

The MP for Rabaul in Papua New Guinea has urged the national government and the East New Britain provincial government not to turn their backs on the historic town.

Dr Allan Marat says Rabaul remains an important hub for economic and health services for both the province and the islands region, despite being written off by many after destructive volcanic eruptions in 1994.

Dr Marat has fended off criticism that he is not doing enough to rebuild the town, saying central government is reluctant to inject funds in Rabaul.

But he admits the uncertainty over Mt Tavurvur's volcanic activity is an obstacle.

"The Governor, the Deputy Prime Minister, they keep referring to this, saying we cannot inject a lot of money into Rabaul, they say people are leaving. Well, the population is increasing, you cannot just turn away from them. If you want them out, provide land for them. But they are not. We are saying, where will we run to?"

The MP for Rabaul Dr Allan Marat