Jan 15, 2010

Budget accommodates shipping services in New Ireland

A REGULAR shipping service offering cut price freight reductions by almost half has came into force in the least developed area of southern New Ireland that promises breakthrough in economic development for people of the "last kona."

This has come into action since the announcement of the 2010 Budget by the Governor Sir Julius Chan last December.

Announcing this, the Governor, Sir Julius said the outcome of the successful negotiations between his Government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the maiden voyage was launched within one month of the special arrangements with the first ship sailing into Danfu recentlyfor the trial run.

Sir Julius said the ship will complete a route which will take in Rei, Morokon, Bakok, and around the southern tip to Lambom, Kaboman, Watpi and Palabong in the Konoagil area before sailing into Rabaul on what is contracted to become a monthly shipping service.

The Governor said "this is the first time such a service was ever offered the forgotten areas."

"As announced in my Budget Speech we will not only provide a regular shipping service but in addition a subsidized freight arrangement that will give our people in the 'last kona' equivalent access to market facilities."

Sir Julius said those people have missed out on the good things and they never ask which makes this ADB project very significant.

The cost for both freight and passenger fare have been cut by almost half on the current rates which will enable the people to enjoy greater price benefits.

                        Before                  Now
Cocoa    -   K 20 per bag              K10 per bag
Copra    -   K 15 per bag              K10 per bag

Cargo    -   K65 per cubic             K40 per cubic

Adult fare -  K 60                          K 40
Students -    K 45                          K 25
Children -    K 30                          K 15

"This is a great freight and subsidy package, making Konoagil comparable to Namatanai and Kavieng.

Sir Julius said that while the new shipping route opens, road work is continuing on the Weilo to Silur road on the east coast of Namatanai while workmen resumed this week on the west coast construction of the Burukalai - Palabong and Burukalai - Kokola roads after the festive holidays.

The Governor said he hope this project with the Asian Development Bank will be successful and continued.

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