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Pacific Preparation –

Preparations are well underway for the Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games but the benefits will continue long after the event itself.

With more than 3000 competitors, 500 team officials and 1000 technical officials and dignitaries from 21 neighbouring Pacific nations due to converge on PNG’s capital city, organisers have been busy behind the scenes planning a world-class sporting event.

Key to the event’s success is the investment of almost 1 billion kina ($A378 million) for the development of infrastructure and facilities designed to meet the standards of international athletes and serve PNG’s local communities for the next decade.

The event returns to Port Moresby for the third year and will be an integral part of grand celebrations planned to commemorate PNG’s 40th year of independence.

And with thousands of tourists expected to arrive for the games, the 2015 Pacific Games Organising Committee believes local businesses will reap substantial benefits during the event and in the years to come.

Games organising committee chief executive officer Peter Stewart told that events such as the Pacific Games had a long-lasting legacy.

“At any event where you are going to spend a large amount of public money, you want to see many years of benefits afterwards,” he said.

“This event is no different to that.

“The PNG government is investing nearly 1 billion kina in infrastructure projects that are there ostensibly to support the games but will be of benefit to the community for the next 10 or 20 years.

“The real benefits from the infrastructure come after the games.

“These include not just the sporting venues but also improvements to the University of PNG, roadways and the communications systems.

“For example, improvements to the sporting venues will enable PNG to attract major international events in the future, because all of these projects are world-class.

“That brings more visitors into the country, which helps with tourism, accommodation providers and restaurants.

“Also, those facilities will provide access for the general community and the development of sport here in PNG, which has real benefits for health, civic pride and social cohesion.”

The Port Moresby 2015 Pacific Games will take place on July 4-18, 2015.

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