Monday, 23 January 2017

PANGU Pati Leader promised to change PNG from its current turmoil - for a better tomorrow

Speech by Hon. Samuel H Basil, MP on the occasion of PANGU Party fundraising dinner
Parliamentary Leader Pangu Pati Inc.
Lae Fundraising Dinner: 21 January, 2017.
Lae Yacht Club, Lae, Morobe Province

Distinguished guests, ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls...


I have asked you all to be here tonight for a single reason. That reason lies in the fact that you have all taken the time and made the effort to be here to support a cause. That single cause is our well-known and much loved Pangu Pati.

In this country that single cause has been a movement in my lifetime. I grew up in this province accepting that this green flag with the Kumul - would fly in all our Morobe electorates with a promise.

I would regularly see adults around me gather to listen and support the values of this 50-year-old political party.

In earlier years, in Morobe Province, there were some simple rules; we would give praise & thanks to Anatu, we worshipped in our Lutheran faith and we supported Pangu Pati!

(God first, Lutheran second and Pangu Pati third.)

Tonight will be a night of revisiting old and recent memories. Grand Chief you are the original fearless leader of this great party. You are a nationalist, a warrior and a generous and genuine man who this country has adored for decades. You will leave a legacy that we as younger leaders will aspire to.

As younger leaders we will each pursue with conviction your brand of political prowess. Your knowledge and understanding in this diverse and resource rich country inspires us to practice the humility we have always seen in you.

Fortunately, you have shared it with us all for so many years. As you take steps towards your retirement, I want to personally acknowledge your natural ability to rise above political differences.

I want to thank you for choosing to start each and every one of your political battles with peace and not conflict.

You have helped us to keep this country together even when it was difficult to do so. You will be remembered well and respected for your modest choices and your dream to seek political independence for this great nation.

Our promise tonight as Pangu Pati is that we will build on the gains that your generation of leaders established for us; by ensuring that we revive the credibility and respectability under this flag, to bring certainty – in equal parts to rural populations and urban Papua New Guineans too.

We will raise this Pangu flag throughout the country to represent fiscal stability and economic independence to our people.

Our main call to action is that “We will bring government to the people”. Our party’s policies demonstrate this in various ways.

In Pangu Pati we plan to give the right amount of attention back to the Agriculture sector, as PNG’s sleeping giant.

Agriculture will provide the main alternative revenue earning, income source beyond oil and gas. This is urgent.

The problem we face right now is that; there are GDP errors in the 2016 budget, these are factual errors.

The knock-on effect is that there are oversights in calculating PNG’s nominal GDP. Experts advise us that this affects all key ratios such as the debt to GDP ratio.

This is important because if the numbers are being manipulated to give the impression that we are within the permissible limits of debt then our real problem when we go to form a new government later this year, will be discovering just how much this country is really in debt.

There has been so little transparency with the budget figures now for 2 consecutive years that budgetary planning exercises are a nightmare for all of us.

I hope I have set the scene on one single challenge in the task ahead for any new government formed in 2017.

We have major problems in the public sector associated with transitioning a new accounting system.

This means we have very little visibility into the financing operations of major parts of the public sector, especially the State Owned Enterprises.

We are told that this is where all this countries debt liabilities may lie buried – within the Kumul Structure.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the interest of time and brevity I will continue with Pangu Pati’s policy agenda.

I have just given an example of the reasons why our policies must be modeled and priced so that transparency in the use of public funds is possible.

My keen interest in economic modeling is its vital importance to the potential for sectoral growth that can and will add to GDP.

Pangu Pati is defining policy based on economic and social outcomes that can be reinforced with deliberate recurrent resource allocations and timelines.

Again, my personal wish is to enhance sectoral growth in the non-mining resource sectors by giving prominence to individual commodities with market values that will survive all other shocks and the risk of natural disasters.

By placing all our eggs in one basket with oil & gas, Pangu Pati understands that we must design sustainable alternatives that can support our exponential population growth.

In this way we know we can create new jobs and new industry. If we improve livelihoods and influence the government’s tax earnings along the way - then you know as MPs that we are doing our jobs at least.

Importantly, I want to see rural jobs created so that rural working families benefit from direct income into their family units. In my district I have focused on the basics of service delivery, so that my constituents have electricity in their village homes.

This approach has provided a trigger for economic activity. It is possible for lighting, refrigeration, telecommunications and other utilities that we consider to be basics like; running water, hygiene and sanitation.

Ol man na meri …tonight we also promise that your memories of this political party will centre on a rigid plan about Reconstruction and Recovery.

I will discuss very briefly the main themes of Pangu Pati’s plan to rescue our ailing economy. I will also mention our social policies.

In a few weeks time I will host a policy forum in Port Moresby to provide a further opportunity to showcase and discuss our party’s policy platforms.

Ladies & Gentlemen, when we were designing and rebranding our party’s approach to this century we were guided by the history of this party.

Political Independence is the hallmark of Pangu Pati. We wanted to market our capabilities to what we felt any competent team would be capable of delivering.

This is because we are building the machinery. We must act right now starting in our political parties to move from personalities politics to good public policies and processes that will build institutions.

We want our policy values to become the basis of all the political, economic and social decision-making within this party and this country.

Importantly our advisory team acknowledges the challenges we face as a country in each of our core service delivery sectors, like health, education, law and justice, transport and infrastructure.

Our research reveals that endemic political interference has undermined any decent reform agenda. The impacts of this form of corruption speak for itself each day in our broken down services.

Sadly our services in health and education are suffering the impacts of weak economic management and a lack of consistent reform, as our country has grown and modernized

As I welcome to you to Lae tonight, many of you will be aware that as a major city, we are not famous as a tourist destination. Instead, we are a quietly growing industrial hub and the gateway to many Highlands provinces and coastal regions and destinations.

This alone makes Morobe Province a vital part of the arterial core of this nation today. I start with our industrial city and our agricultural province as this is also the place of our political origins.

This is where Pangu Pati was born in the mid to late 1960’s - when some of you in this room began to worry about whether we could be free to think for ourselves or not; as a group of indigenous and diverse people.

Today I stand here as the parliamentary leader of a political party with an embedded legacy of hope for this nation.

Today we want to bring back that hope under the celebrated Pangu Pati banner; after our forefathers gave us the political independence we need to enhance economic prosperity for our people.

That promise will remain our greatest challenge and constant ambition in this Pangu family, with our extended networks of friends and associates.

As the parliamentary leader of Pangu Pati I plan to head into the 2017 General Elections with a core rural development plan.

Before we can do this, we realize that we must engage in ways to generate revenue beyond our reliance on our mineral and energy wealth.

We know that we must prepare to negotiate trade agreements and technical cooperation arrangements.

Significantly we must restore parliaments protocols and processes to legally appropriate funds to our priority sectors such as coffee, cocoa, fisheries, forestry and tourism. Infrastructure and construction sectors must also be factored in here.

Because our economy is doing worse than we first thought, I will move that a new government must endorse a macroeconomic agenda that dramatically reduces PNG’s high fiscal deficit.

In order to restore macroeconomic stability and longer term growth Pangu Pati will introduce measures to limit expenditure and increase earnings.

Poorly conceived subsidies will be reviewed while reforms to our tax structures will provide the basis for increased revenue collection, as we figure out ways to restore our poor international credit ratings.

Pangu Pati will introduce austerity measures.

We will work hard to improve profits generated by SOE’s. All excessive perks and privileges to Ministers and senior public servants will be reviewed and axed in an effort to limit government expenditure.

Obviously, our main focus as a new government will be on agriculture, jobs and growth.

We will apprehend the exponential population growth with incentives for young people to consider family planning. We want to tackle social problems by understanding their causes.

We will aim to provide numeracy and literacy skills for both young and old citizens so that our productive capacity is spread across rural and urban populations.

All of our plans ladies and gentlemen are by design aimed at achieving a few key targets. We have a broad reform agenda that captures all the symptoms of our systemic problems.

We did not progress well on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) as a country.

Now we risk an equally embarrassing effort on the new Sustainable Development Goals unless we cooperate in a bipartisan way to overcome some of our major development hurdles.

Our governance measures are designed to reduce the risk of the economic mismanagement that has plagued our multibillion kina economy and our ability to provide reliable goods and services to our people in recent years.

These robust governance codes are also specifically designed to inspire confidence in our ability as legislators to end the systematic and systemic corruption that is destroying our diverse and mature resource economy.

Our party banner offers an opportunity for a brand of leadership focused on the restoration of certainty into our economy.

Our brand promises a new chance for Papua New Guineans to enjoy real benefits of the rule of law and as such; jobs and growth.

Our aim is also to ensure that foreign investors will also enjoy lucrative gains derived in a competitive, rules based and progressive PNG economy.

I am proud to assure business communities throughout the nation that Pangu Pati will ensure that research, sign, data and economic models will inform all our sectoral planning and resource allocations.

I want to assure this nation that our revenue and expenditure plans will guarantee that PNGs development agenda will be focused on building development enablers and infrastructure focused on needs and outcomes and not political expediency.

In these difficult economic times Pangu Pati appreciates the importance of an alternative revenue strategy that redeploys resources for greater benefits to be shared from our high national earnings.

Pangu Pati will continue to support PNGs mature minerals and energy sectors with vital reforms and incentives for investors to continue to choose PNG as an investment destination.

I will personally promote the equitable distribution of benefits derived from our natural resource wealth as a key objective in our overarching development strategy and macroeconomic and alternate structural adjustment plans.

Our political party emphasizes economic recovery and social reconstruction in an effort to achieve genuine economic independence in our lifetimes.

Importantly, a Pangu led government will ensure that the macroeconomic stability required to restore investor confidence will be given prominence.

As we progress and modernize as a nation, we must treasure the success of our pioneers in achieving unrestricted political freedom for us.

That unhindered political independence has given us the free choice to emerge and develop with the hope that we might achieve more economic independence in our lifetimes.

This is the undeniable legacy of this political party - I am proud to say. Under this flag this nation was founded and built. Now I can hear loudly and see clearly that Papua New Guineans are telling us – Pangu Pati - that it is our duty to take this country back!

We are ready!

Pangu Pati is a movement. It has been a way of life for our grand parents and our parents’ generation.

Pangu Pati led the way. It built our first bridges, universities and banks. Pati Pati cleared roads and set Papua New Guinea’s first development agenda after independence.

Pangu Pati packaged our political freedom and convinced our colonisers that we as indigenous people were capable of taking over the reigns of power in our new nation.

Pangu Pati negotiated PNG’s first bilateral treaties, under Pangu’s leadership diplomatic ties with other nation states were established so that trade, aid, diplomacy and donor support for our development became a possibility.

Pangu Pati brought into law international conventions that linked PNG according to global standards and measures to other nations globally.

Under our founding father and Father of this nation Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s leadership, Pangu won PNG’s 1st ever national parliamentary elections and he led our first coalition government in 1977.

Sir Michael would go on to win 3 more general elections as the parliamentary leader. By the way Pangu Pati still holds the record for winning the most general elections in this country. Yes under the leadership of the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.

Pangu Pati must remain a modern choice for progress and development. By bringing government to the people we are reviving the importance of our PNG way that builds trust through relationships, family ties and close networks.

That’s why we are all here today because Pangu Pati must no longer be simply one of the possibilities - Pangu Pati must quite simply become the only way!

I am proud to stand here before my wife Nahina and some of my children to address you as a very small but important portion of our growing base of party faithful and supporters around this country.

Firstly, I want you all to feel welcome…so charge your glasses while I propose a toast. Here’s to a new beginning for Pangu Pati. Pangu Pati I save long rot…We know the way.

We led the way and here’s to Pangu Pati leading the way once again in 2017. Ladies & Gentlemen it is our turn right now.

2016 was a busy year for us on the wrong side of the floor of parliament. [Pause]….. In the Opposition while we tried to hold the government to account, we have also delivered services.

We’ve kept debate on policy issues alive and we’ve drawn attention to the endless number of proven controversies that the O’Neill/Dion government enjoys generating.

Importantly we’ve tried to block flawed constitutional amendments and the passage of some worthless simple bills and money bills like the most recent fraudulent 2017 Annual Budget.

Friends, the previous session of parliament was again solid proof that the O’Neill government has passed its ‘used by date’.

We cannot allow a group of bandits to expropriate power endlessly by using their numerical strength and their access to our public funds to aide and abet criminal activity in our house of parliament or in our National Executive Council.

Somehow, many of us in Opposition have managed to avoid the politically motivated witch-hunts that are increasing as we reach the elections.

Accepting this as a standard would be wrong. Political interference has slaughtered the democratic ideals behind our weakened governing system.

Pangu Pati will continuously identify and analyse these unlawful patterns of political behaviour and we are working hard to find solutions.

In 2017 multimedia platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and other interactive sites such as Twitter will provide an avenue for the voices of many unhappy or fearful Papua New Guineans who want to have their say about current issues.

The value of instant feedback is addictive, as we all know. The very public opinions of a select few will dominate in social media.

General access to the Internet today means that our people have a window into the habits, expectations and other ways of life that exist throughout the world.

This can be very positive but unless we understand its risks; we face the real possibility of opening up our society to external challenges that have no place in our own transitioning, traditional yet extremely modern and demanding PNG society.

Ladies & gentlemen our traditional media; our newspapers or print media, TV and radio must also obligate their editors to educate their newsrooms and audiences by employing ethical standards and genuine reporting of facts that have the affect of telling stories based on evidence.

We must demand media stories that promote transparency, governance, civil liberties and much more rights-based thinking for consumption by an information-hungry public.

Importantly, in changing times in a country like ours, some things must remain traditional, conservative and certain. The media is one of those pillars of a democratic society.

Pangu Pati will return media freedom and encourage lively discussion and debate, we will ensure that media ethics and standards are re-established so that as a new government we ourselves can be held to account.

We want that for our democracy!

Ladies & Gentlemen, I have likened the experience of being in the PNG Opposition to that of the shifting Kumalu River in the Bulolo District.

As I drive through on a sunny day in the mountain ranges in the morning I am greeted with blue skies and a steady trickle of water emerging from the Mumeng mountains ranges.

To a newcomer the river crossing seems safe and passable. But as I finish my electoral duties and I return via the same road on the same day, a torrent has formed and an impassible river has appeared.

This unpredictable pattern makes it impossible to plan, it makes building infrastructure to connect people and economic activity in the Mumeng ranges problematic.

It also conceals the reality of Mumeng Station now buried 50 meters below. Mipla ol asples yet… we know all too well the many faces of the Kumalu!

Like the uncertainty and the changing faces of the Kumalu River, the O’Neill/Dion government has created an environment within institutions, in our society and in our economy where investors and citizens alike should only enter at their own risk!

As Papua New Guineans this risky behaviour by a government must begin to cause alarm and outrage.

We are resilient and forgiving and we carry the burden of other people’s choices for us - all too well. This is evident in many ways in our current political, and socio-economic landscape.

We are happy to inherit a burden, or a challenge or a risk. Generally we transform those negative predicaments into acceptable events that we deal with by spreading the risk amongst our family ties, our networks and our professional relationships.

Imagine if we said no to those risks and began to practice a no-tolerance policy in our private lives? The transformations and consequences would be far reaching.

My emphasis here will now turn to our choices of people who we will nominate, elevate and elect eventually to become members of parliament.

When we use our discretion to make this choice are we choosing the person we think that best represents our needs or are we deciding on candidates who others have chosen for us?

In the Opposition Pangu has struggled at the mercy of a government that is too willing to use its mighty force in numbers to create uncertainty.

It has generated the same unpredictable patterns in the economy that make it impossible to save, plan or reform, yet it gives the world the impression that each day that its business as usual.

Economically, as a country we took a serious tumble last year. The O’Neill/Dion government took major risks that have gambled away what should have been the lucrative inheritance of future generations of Papua New Guineans.

Despite the regular overseas and internal showcasing of PNG’s multi-billion kina economy the O’Neill Dion government will continue to have trouble paying for its own national priorities and its own confused development agenda. There is a very short and clear explanation for this.

In the last session of parliament the majority of MPs who sit in government approved an illegal budget.

We face a major problem now with our entire district and provincial development plans, as the government’s annual money plan is a fraudulent series of poor projections and doctored estimates.

A summary by Australian & former PNG Treasury expert Paul Flanagan reads; “The 2017 Budget was a missed opportunity for restoring credibility in the Government’s economic management."

The report goes on to paint a picture of the O’Neill government’s ambitious yet desperate policy choices.

More disturbingly the report by Flanagan reflects a government out of control of the institutional processes that are designed to embed transparency and provide protections against the abuse of funds from the public purse.

As a bold promise and deliverable fiscal strategy Pangu Pati intends to correct the failures of illegal and fraudulent budget appropriations.

As an enforceable structural reform plan Pangu Pati will unite our country again through budget repair and fiscal discipline.

This is the only way to prioritize health, education, transport, infrastructure and law and justice again.

We want to share the benefits of this country’s gains with the people whose assets we mortgage or sell to negotiate commercial deals.

This requires high level political will. A Pangu-led government will increase GDP by instituting a broad based multi-sector revenue strategy. We will slash spending in non-priority areas.

Economic modeling research and analysis will complement the prominence we give to data collection and management.

These robust initiatives will reduce the risk of waste and enhance policy driven agendas. Pangu Pati will cap the deficit and reduce the crippling debt burdens on the state by putting a stop to untenable external borrowing.

To do this we must first understand the importance of earning revenue not just spending from the public purse.

On our parliamentary reform agenda Pangu Pati will re-institute the oversight of bipartisan parliamentary committees to reconsider genuine transparency and international collaboration; to bolster opportunities for a shift towards a substantial reform agenda to evolve our governing system of parliament. If this is what Papua New Guineans want.

Yes this calls for a planned and well-resourced referendum.

Ladies & Gentlemen, an upper and lower house of parliament will ensure vetting and screening of bills and legislative amendments.

A bicameral system of parliament will naturally provide the open scrutiny that this parliament lacks.

Restoring key parliamentary processes such as the recording of Hansard and respect for the ideals contained in parliamentary standing orders will provide insurance against fraudulent individuals whose priority is to hold the legislature to ransom for power and self-gratification.

Among other institutional goals Pangu will right size the public sector to prepare it for the pressures of a growing population, with changing service delivery needs.

Pangu Pati understands that structural adjustments to enhance decentralisation efforts will return (centralized) powers to local and district level authorities.

That is why our master plan will detail reforms that remove the risk of parallel systems that have been instituted through the new DDA frameworks.

As a political party with strong alternative policies we are worried about what international investors are thinking right now.

We are anxious because we rely on their confidence. Pangu Pati will chart a path for investor confidence that translates to major tax revenue, jobs for our people, and much needed foreign exchange and general cash flow in our economy again.

But this confidence is being eroded by this government’s inability to truthfully explain how it plans to:
➢ Spend public funds,
➢ Save revenue or income (by way of a
Sovereign Wealth Fund)
➢ Reduce the crippling deficit
➢ Service its debt obligations.

In 2017 a recession has been confirmed. This means Papua New Guinea has suffered from 2 consecutive periods of negative growth.

It means that we have spent more money than we have made. It also means that we did not come up with fresh ideas on how to use the money we’ve made already by selling our natural resources to international markets.

`Friends, the PNG Central Bank provides official growth figures so that as citizens and decision-makers we should be able to track; all the economic activity (and inputs and outputs) that expose patterns of commercial behaviour.

These patterns are demonstrated in figures (or numbers) that can be understood through the use of global measures and formulas that generate economic data used for planning, regulation and other budgetary processes.

My main worry is that this vital information is being fraudulently altered at the behest or command of a Prime Minister whose only aim is to mislead us into believing that our economic problems are not as bad as some experts are frankly suggesting.

Sadly, we all know better. The O’Neill/Dion government’s preparedness to sacrifice transparency for political convenience is evident in the shifting priorities of the 2016-2017 Budgets.

Never in the history of this country have we witnessed such a high level of disloyalty amongst parliamentarians who have chosen their own survival over our people’s wellbeing.

This government has continuously concealed to international investors the reality of the chaos they have created for us to clean up when we form government in September 2017.

This government led by Peter O’Neill is not prepared to protect the interests of Papua New Guineans.

The numerical strength on the floor of parliament are not just paper cut-outs; they are actual members of parliament; who like me and others of you here – pleaded to our districts and provinces and our people to be elected as legislators so that we could meaningfully contribute to development.

We asked our people to be their choice in MPs so that we might propose the passage of bills based on their needs.

We all went to the general elections some 4 years ago begging our voters to give us the chance to lead from the front.

Personally, I promised my voters that I wanted to change Wau-Bulolo by continuing to provide basic and essential public goods and services such as electricity, rural roads access and infrastructure.

In Wau-Bulolo informal sector growth and economic activity are possible. This is because I planned and delivered on those prospects.

I have made sure that implementation of a district development agenda is realized within the limits of restricted resources to reach those hard to reach rural villages.

Industry giants such as Zenag and PNG Forest Products can continue to provide jobs in our remote mountains because they have an environment that is conducive to growth that will sustain their business interests.

(Not forgetting the national government's neglect of the Wau/Bulolo & Menyamya National Highway)

Importantly, my people now have the options. They can earn an income in their customary land if they are indigenous and if they have settled in our district they benefit from incomes that allow them to live with pride and dignity amongst our people in their adopted land.

My rural people use the roads that I am working very hard to build so they can carry their produce between the rivers and creeks that were once impassible.

Today the residents of the rural Bulolo District have the option of flying their produce and their families from the Wau & Bulolo airstrip to bigger centres if the need arises.

Ladies and Gentlemen the story of PNGs development is a short one. You can ask why but the answer is simple. We have not developed as quickly as our population grows exponentially. We have not transferred the gains from our exports to basic benefits for our people.

When we gained independence in 1975 under Pangu Pati we built more roads and bridges and created universities, banks, and schools and other public and private institutions. We did this then with less money and less political disloyalty.

The O’Neill government proudly boasted of its numerical strength on the floor. Sadly, O’Neill’s parliamentary majority has been the most dangerous and destructive in our short history.

I want to tell you why. In Sydney almost a month ago, O’Neill led a delegation of ventriloquists where he addressed new and current investors on his record of achievement and his governments’ plans going forward.

I could not attend as we simply did not have the funds to afford such an extravagant choice of destination for the annual Mining conference.

During the launch Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told attendees that his government had a “straight forward plan for the nation”.

He discussed his governments promise to (and I quote) “advance development through a focus on a set of policies of improving education, expanding access to healthcare, improving law and order and restoring critical infrastructure for the country”.

O’Neill boasted that his regime is responsible for doubling the number of children in our schools, he bragged about an increased number of girl child enrolments.

And of course he told the conference that universal healthcare was now possible because of partnerships with churches, private sector and NGOs.

The Prime Minister is not frightened to tell audiences everywhere of his governments achievements on the surface.

Because beneath the surface lies some pretty shocking truths about how our multi-billion kina economy has sustained the decadent lifestyles of his elite circle of close friends and willing accomplices.

As we are here to celebrate our way forward I will only seek to ask you as party faithful and life-long supporters to choose carefully when you exercise your democratic right to choose representatives in our 10th parliament in 2017.

This parliament has used its majority to collude and unduly influence the passage of laws push through numerous dangerous and ineffective pieces of legislation such as the upcoming amendments to the Elections Act_

Agriculture will once again become the lifeblood of this country if Pangu ins elected in 2017. The agriculture sector in this country has the capacity to expand GDP by at least 30%. It has the ability to support rural families directly by bringing income directly into the homes of hardworking PNG village and other rural communities.

In a few months time we will go to the polls when the PNG Electoral commission issues the writs, this will trigger the start of the biggest race of our lives in the country. I say this because we have survived the small battles to win the war.

Pangu Pati will be given the mandate in 2017 to stop the race to the bottom that Peter O’Neill has spearheaded with his renegade group of followers.

These reckless individuals who are sitting members of parliament will go to the polls too under their coalition party banners.

They will disguise themselves as concerned leaders, with policies, achievements and a new plan. They will plead with our people to give them another chance at re-entering parliament. But we know better now. We have seen their efforts to create a Wall of Fame for their leader Peter O’Neill.

Starting now and into 2017 we must be able to identify this illicit behaviour by low achieving members of parliament so we can arrive at a time in our history when those in the future will remember that it was us - Pangu Pati the decision-makers and opinion-formers that decided to stop that race to the bottom.

As concerned citizens – mipla bai mas tokaut na tok stret…. remind our people of the capabilities of these men and women.

We will go to the polls in a few months time and we will create walls of shame – with the names and records of these sitting members of parliament who are now wealthier and less connected to their constituents than they were only 4 years ago.

These sitting MPs have seized power in the legislature to manipulate public institutions. This week we have seen the electoral commission processes hijacked. Last week we saw the Organic law on integrity of political parties waved around like a gimmick. Our institutions are being used against us.

Finally, I want to remind you of the framework within which we are aiming to provide a true alternative government.

We know that as we head to parliament next Tuesday we will be faced with a barrage of bills that we will be expected to support and pass for convenience of a government so completely out of control that they are winning an election for us!!!!

Pangu Pati promises a recovery and reconstruction package for Papua New Guineans & our visitors too.

Since 2015, the O’Neill government has failed to account for the revenue they have made from taking away land and resources from our people.

They extract from our land and sea: gold, gas, oil, nickel, copper, fish, timber, coffee, cocoa, oil palm and copra…in return they sign legally binding agreements that are not worth the paper that they put their signatures on.

This has cost the State billions of Kina in breaches of contract. These consistent breaches have destroyed our international and domestic credibility.

Pangu Pati will revisit the processes for resource extraction. We will endeavour to engage the expertise to review the Oil & Gas act.

We will place the emphasis back on the importance of GDP growth. We will do this by understanding GDP and its components according to legitimate economic modeling.

We will ensure that the best and the brightest from around the world are consulted so that we can design and enforce an alternative revenue strategy that focuses on getting the best deal for this country from Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Construction Infrastructure and Tourism. Pangu Pati will focus on foreign investment policies that balance the importance of jobs and growth for PNG with profits and certainty for our vistors.

I want to ensure that the economic deterioration that has unfolded before our eyes over the last 4 years is stopped. I want to assure Papua New Guineans that the platforms we are laying down tonight will enable the thinking that informs the structural adjustments in our governing system.

We will reform the parliament, we will right-size the public service and tailor the public sector to the economic and social needs of our people. Pangu Pati will facilitate the recovery and reconstruction of our economy so that we can face the world again without feeling humiliated and disgraced.

I shall now conclude…..

In the face of a downturn in the global economy in 2016 and the effects of events such as Brexit in the UK, and slow growth in the US, there has been slower global growth. PNG is not immune to what happens in the rest of the world.

We note growth in advanced economies and growth in the emerging and developing economies, in the BRIC countries and North America and the Middle East.

Average global growth is predicted to be varied. So the impacts of the world outlook on our domestic economy must be understood. The domestic outlook in PNG according to the 2016 Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outllook report and other estimates – suggest this government heavily relied on the windfalls from oil & gas only.

I say this because regular economic analysis points to prevailing low commodity prices and lower than anticipated production from the mining, oil and gas sectors. Weather is also affecting agriculture.

A reduction in foreign exchange and backlogs in government spending in the economy are blamed for the downgrade in growth.

In the oil and gas sector, strong growth in 2014 & 2015 has been replaced by a contraction in the economy as LNG construction moved into production. Gas production reached full capacity.

The economic reporting and analysis in key sectors suggests that downward revisions are the order of the day. However our resource projects like OK Tedi, Ramu Nickel, Pogera mines continue to improve production.

We saw coffee production benefited from the drought, while key palm oil projects in Ramu and West New Britain suffered from its effects.

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries still contribute to growth but analyses tells us we are not employing strategies to tackle the conditions in our depressed economy.

We note the linkages between the non-resource sectors of the economy and the depressed commodity prices. The advice is clear. The reductions in income a lack of spending in the economy and shortages of foreign currency; are dragging down growth and budget estimates.

Our mapped out potential to generate resource wealth we are suffering from high level interference in the processes and transactions that might allow PNG to achieve its full growth potential.

We tend to just accept that the downward revision in key growth sectors like manufacturing is a naturally occurring phenomenon. When we should be trying to understand why we have weak policies on cheaper overseas imports that directly undermines manufacturing growth and performance.

We should ask ourselves about the impacts is of shortages of foreign currencies at banks. How does a government adjust its policies and tweak legislation to facilitate import demand so that private and public sector investments continue to thrive in our multibillion kina resource economy.

The knock on effect of a lack of forward planning is apparent in poor growth figures in the wholesale retail and trade sectors; people are spending less, sales are weakening because prices are high, there are shortages in foreign currency to buy imports.

In 2016 the reduction in government capital expenditure affected our booming construction industry. Fortunately, projects funded under concessional loans from donor partners have kept developments in the construction sector going.

Poorly conceived targets by this government have also caused forecasts to be downgraded in the utilities sector. Capital investments a major utility alone has happened at the expense of the real estate sector.

More attention needs to be given in this context to a robust housing policy in relation to urbanisation and population growth. Pangu Pati will place emphasis on the real estate sector business service sector, and PNG finance sector as the key driver of growth in these areas.

When we compiled our research across sectors in the economy we could begin to see the main contributors to economic growth.

In this regard transport and communication provide positive prospects for expansion into the region with flights into Asian and Pacific destinations and recently direct flights to Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands.

Pangu Pati will invest windfalls into further communications as a continuation of the programs we rolled out in whilst in Opposition.

From 2017 a Pangu led government will enact growth policies and social impact programs sustained consistently and directly fro gains in our thriving resource sector both extractive and non-mining sector.

I have discussed the economy and some of the challenges we face going forward. I will turn to our plans now and the massive task ahead for us.

Our theme of reconstruction and recovery is about repairing the destruction to our institutions, our economy our livelihoods and a vision about stability.

Pangu Pati will work to restore macro economic stability via sustainable fiscal initiatives. We will promote inclusive growth this way by improving PNG’s growth model.

Our aim to reduce unemployment is also an aim to create jobs. We have to reduce public debt and boost productivity. Pangu Pati will invest in people.

We will modernize our pubic service, so that competitiveness and inclusion are balanced.

The main game changer will be our efforts to institute an alternative revenue strategy beyond oil and gas.

All the growth sectors such as real estate, construction, retail and wholesale, communications and transport are squarely on our core agenda.

We want to invest in development enablers such as sector specific infrastructure, transport, information and communications technology, rural electrification, roads, airstrips bridges, wharves and dams.

All of these major impact projects will replace the expenditure on the fancy vanity projects of the O’neill era. Our investments will be influenced by our data on population density and economic and social outcomes.

We want to invest heavily in the importance of data collection across all government agencies and departments. As a specific effort we will boost the morale of our people who only survive tough economic times due to their contributions to the informal sector.

Importantly agriculture subsidies will be considered in different forms. We will ensure that our people have access to affordable financial services and opportunities, so that they too can save and build assets.

We will enforce an affordable housing policy that puts middle income earners on a stable path to quality education from early childhood to post graduate training will require resources and political will.

We want to protect our farming families against the devastating effects of natural disasters. Through the delivery of these initiatives we will work hard to reduce poverty and create certainty.

Finally the opportunities we create for women and families will be mainstreamed across all growth sectors to genuinely include those forgotten yet productive demographics in our future economic success.

Thank you & Good Night!


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