Somare has defended his comments at a Canberra press conference last week where
he said no one went hungry in PNG.
Sir Mekere Morauta subsequently criticised the Prime Minister for saying there
was no poverty in PNG, saying that many people were starving and the majority
of people still lacked basic services.
launched a stinging attack on the Opposition, strongly defending his
Government’s track record since taking the reins seven years ago and questioned
what Sir Mekere was doing to improve services in his own Moresby Northwest
“There has been a
lot of finger pointing going on by some urban Members of Parliament and I want
to know what these urban Members, especially the leader of the Opposition, have
done with the increases in their allocations over the last four or so years.
police station been improved to better serve the community? I hear Baruni dump
being brought up in the media recently. Can the local Member (Sir Mekere) tell
us how he has used his district allocation to assist in alleviating urban
poverty? With the district road improvement programme, are there new roads in
these urban electorates?” Sir Michael asked.
“We have given
each of the 89 districts adequate funds since the first term of this
Government. In the first year, it was K1 million, then K4 million and recently
“Yes, we lack
material wealth in rural areas where the vast majority of our people live but
they are not short of food and water,” the Prime Minister said.
He said social
services should be improving with the resources that his Government had been
continuously pouring into all Government departments and districts. “It is not
for me to make inspections of aid posts and schools; it’s the responsibility of
managers in those sectors.
that there are deficiencies and have ploughed money into the districts to
complement the work of departments such as police, Works, Transport, Health and
Education,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the
public sector was a stumbling block, making delivery of services to districts
He said the public sector was a stumbling block, making delivery of services to districts difficult.