Establishing a master plan that’s unique to Central Province is very critical at this point in time as we go through a lot of challenges.
I have been very critical about our Provincial master plan and we have invested a lot of time, effort and energy into developing this plan and having all the alignments in place to address our issues and challanges in order that we successfully achieve the Vision we envisage for our beautiful people and province.
• Long term Master plan 2020 – 2030
• Medium term plan 2017 – 2022
• Short term plan – yearly activity
Firstly how do we do it, currently there are so many wants, demands, expectations and multiple knee jerk reactions to every issue, so where do we begin ?
It all starts with a vision and a strategic plan which then needs capital (money) to to put this plan into action surrounded by discipline to protect and guide us.
And so began our journey in 2017 for a SMARTER CENTRAL PROVINCE.
Knowing our strengths and weaknesses and having a Vision is critical, hence our PETITION in parliament to address our Central Province issues going back one hundred and thirty five years when the first white fella landed on our shores, changing our lives FOREVER.
The PETITION is our vehicle that we will use to drive our agenda in demanding from the state of PNG proper compensation for all the hardship and mistreatment brought onto our people and to give us the opportunity to go through the process of rebuilding our Identity and to drive and set our own Destiny.
We all want the best in quality of life for all our people and it’s not a crime to demand and to fight for it, however, we have to start somewhere with the resources we have at hand. To be able to have this quality of life we need to pay for it and building our economy is now our focus by mobilizing our two most important and most abundant resources, our people and their Land as we drive three major sectors through them which are,
AGRICULTURE – With agriculture we are converting our people from being subsistence farmers to commercial farmers and to drive a one crop per electorate concept and a one crop per farmer concept to increase productivity, quantity and quality. The idea is to have a secured market based on consistency in supply and demand and most importantly its about putting money directly into our people’s pocket in their local communities without having to worry about logistics and sitting in the markets in Port Moresby. Our business arm, Central Province Holdings Ltd (CPHL) through ANIANI will support farmers with technical advise as well as coordinating the depos (wholesale markets) that will purchase all the harvest off the farmers and will then transport these to the markets and factories.
TOURISM – In Tourism we have nominated Sogeri as our platform tourism destination based on it being a current “going concern” with the Kokoda Track tourism program. Simultaneously we are also driving the home stay concept all over central province to invite tourist into our homes and villages, in doing so propelling us to critically review existing ward development plans. Tourism is a sustainable economic activity, one our people can easily participate in given the appropriate government support. Developing the tourism industry in Central Province puts money directly in our people’s hands at the same time develops our people to have a shift in mindset. With direct benefits impacting our communities, our people develop more in their inner self and outward attitude.
SPORTS – With sports we aim to develop a healthy human, a healthy mind, attitude and good discipline through sports development . In addition, Sports is also a form of tourism which our communities will directly benefit from. Sports also unites people.
ROADS – With the above in place the next thing to do is link up our Province. We begin by focusing on our nine provincial roads. These Nine main roads, will be managed by our own Provincial Transport Bureau (PTB) which was launched last year 2019 at Launakalana, Rigo District. My government’s objective is also to eliminate wastage of limited resources by ceasing direct contracting of companies who often do not have the capacity to deliver projects on time with standards & efficiency. Road upgrading projects will now be managed by our PTB and where needed, be outsourced by the PTB as required.
The 9 provincial roads are:
1/ Launakalana to Kelerakwa road
2/ Sivitatana to Boku ring road.
3/ Londairi road
4/ Kupiano junction to Kupiano town
5/ Moroguina to Yanu road
6/ Hiritano to Veifa’a road
7/ Agevairu Delena Poukama road
8/ Tapini Highway
9/ Gabagaba turn off to Hula road
As per the master plan by the year 2030 we expect to have all these roads upgraded sealed and maintained continuously throughout the year from our PTB camps established along our highways. These roads are our strategic provincial investments as they will be linking all our economic corridors to Markets.
Management of our National highways that are
1/ Hiritano Highway
2/ Magi Highway
3/ Kwikila to Bam eventually to Alotau
It has become critical that upgrade and upkeep management by the National Government has to continue and we will make sure of that. We also share common boarders with four Provinces that will be linked up soon by roads and proper management infrastructures such as Boom gates and Toll gates (Border Posts) to control vehicles, Human beings ( COVED 19 PROTOCOLS ) and illegal substances. These infrastructure will be built at the boarder sites with proper boarder checkpoints, security and highway patrols in place with a user pay system to sustain our operations. A Resolution has already been presented and passed by our Provincial Executive Council for CP Border Security.
HEALTH – While progressing our plans over the years (2017-2020) we never lost sight of our target in our Quality of Life so we aggressively fought to qualify for a Provincial Health Authority that we achieved in 2019 and in doing so we are now upgrading Kwikila Health Centre as an interim Provincial hospital while we build our new 250 bed Provincial Hospital at Bautama. Simultaneously we are building a new Health center at Agevairu station in Kairuku, while work has recommenced on the new Kupiano District Hospital that is back on track and should be completed soon. Negotiations are underway on the Tapini District hospital or to build a new Health center in Woitape.
The PHA will now be in total control of our health system with our oversight and we have total faith in our PHA to perform to their best ability to provide for an accessible, affordable and quality outcome health care system for our Central people.
EDUCATION – with the new Marape Steven education reforms We have re-visited our priorities within our education system based on resources from within and from our external partners. Our education system is directly funded by the National Government and all funds such as the TFF is controlled by the department of education and paid directly to the schools who then spend it as per their own priorities. The provincial education sector operates with funds appropriated in the National governments budget for teachers salaries and leave fares only and further funding is allocated through our internal revenue from the Provincial government.
Based on our vision on building a quality of life for our people we have to be critical on our investments within our education system so as not to spread it too thin thus having no real effect. We have to choose a starting point based on our resources and then work outwards.
The levels of education that we currently have are –
1/ Elementary –
2/ Primary school – 1 – 6
3/ lower Secondary school – 7 – 10
4/ Upper Secondary school – 11 – 12
With the new free school fee support program, tertiary students and parents however, have always paid for this component With some subsidy from our Provincial government about K3 million annually. The rest of the lower grades all came under the TFF program that was supposed to be free for the students however that wasn’t so.
For central we now have to think strategic on a smart approach so we all take some responsibility in our children’s education.
And don’t forget that In driving our economic programs we will be putting money directly into parents pockets enabling them to meet their responsibilities.
Our tertiary students will now ease their parents burden by funding their own school fees through the national students loans program ( HELP )and repaid by the student once he finds employment. Students who return to work for the central Provincial government will sign up on a internship program that will automatically repay that loan over a 5 year period of their contract. 3 years into that contract you then become eligible to upgrade your profession for a further studies. This will then be our succession program to keep replenishing our aging workforce and grow our smart workforce as we expect a rise in demand for skilled people in the province.
As a critical point in the education system the upper secondary becomes a very brittle point in the life of our kids and I believe needs to be handled With a lot of care, for that reason we will be taking on the responsibility of now focusing on improving the standards and quality of our years 11 and 12 infrastructure and curriculum to a very high standard and prepare them for their next phase which is tertiary or they go out into the work force.
In the interim we hope the lower secondary, primary and elementary will be the responsibility of our parents and the open members through their DDA.
As per our master plan we start with year 11 and 12 and then work outwards and eventually over a 10 year period have all our schools upgraded to a high standard with quality education that will pass out top quality students.
Our concentration will now be on building
New infrastructure for years 11 and 12 that will include and not limited to..
3/ Sanitation blocks
4/ Science labs
5/ Computer labs
6/ Agro technical skill workshops.
7/ Staff housing
8/ Teachers office.
We start with the upper secondary first then we work down into the lower grades.
We hope to eventually convert our years 11 and 12 upper secondary schools to SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE.
At our vocational schools we also plan to add Distance education into the schools curriculum to make it possible for our kids who dropped out to have a second chance at upgrading their marks for re entry into year 11 and 12.
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS ARM
Considering all the above these will all cost money and we shouldn’t expect someone to pay on our behalf, as a responsible Governor and Leader my job is to inspire our people to believe in ourselves and empower them to take responsibility for our own betterment in improving our standard of living.
To help pay for all that has been mentioned we have embarked on a journey to recover our lost treasures and build our lost identity. An audit of our provinces wealth has been conducted and is still progressing while we simultaneously build an asset register. We have also registered a business arm called Central Province Holdings Limited (CPHL) that will be the vehicle to drive our other sister companies in driving our business interest within the province and outside. For now we are very comfortable in the foundation building progress to date and can do very well moving into the future. An expo is planned to showcase these and to market central province to the world, a date will be confirmed soon.
GOVERNMENT DOWN TO THE LLGs.
To extend the arm of effective governance we will build new District townships and LLG chambers that will also stimulate economic growth in partnership with the National Government through the Department of provincial and local level government, a few areas have already been selected and work should start soon.
A CENTRAL VOLUNTARY BRIGADE.
As we work on rolling out our ward recorders in the province with the National Government through the Department of National Planning And Department of Provincial and Local level Government we will also be using these information to build our data base on all our people. We currently have a huge number of very educated, qualified and skilled human resource in our communities that will Be engage to extend the length of our arms in service delivery and community projects.
In order to maintain peace and order in our communities and build our province we need a smart, effective and community oriented police force that carries out effective community policing starting from our new Smart Central city down to our districs and into our LLGs and wards. To do that we need our police to be visible and not hidden under NCDs umbrella, a new Provincial police headquarters will be built at Bautama to give visibility to our police force, we then further extend our police stations into the districs and LLGs to help drive our development agendas and stimulate a building revolution in our province.
SMART CENTRAL CITY,
during the development of our province we will also aggressively build our identity as per my PETITION and so have embarked on a new city program called our Smart Central City. This new city will fall within a radius of 50 kms from the NCD border into central province. The physical planning board has already mapped out a boundary call HIVASO about 200,000ha which stands for Hiri Vanapa and Sogeri. To drive this new city, certain areas will be registered as Free Trade Zones (FTZ) inline with the FTZ Bill passed in the last parliament sitting in 2019 which include;
1. Industrial zone
2. Light commercial/industrial zone
3. Tourism Zone
4. Agriculture Zone.
To support these we will provide further incentives in the form of affordable land and energy to potential investors and SMEs to partner in building our new Smart central city.
as we are the only province in Papua New Guinea without a provincial capital, Bautama will now become Central Provinces new Provincial capital and will accommodate our new;
• Provincial government Headquarters
• Provincial Hospital 250 beds that will come with a Nursing college and drug storage.
• Provincial Police Headquaters.
• Provincial wholesale fresh food market
• PTB base
• Light industrial area
• Commercial area
• Residential area
• Recreational areas
We currently plotting all these Ares via GIS mapping for 3D imaging, planning and construction.
In line with our 10 year
(2020 – 2030) master plan we envisage an improved standard of living for our citizens who will have direct access to markets, business opportunities, affordable and quality education and health care systems while all the time enjoying life and living in well managed, safe, clean and happy communities.
God bless Central Province.
Governor Robert Agarobe
Doing it the Central way,