The Pro-Active Voice of the Morobe Business Sector

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From the President’s Desk


FIRE HYDRANTS – We have been on about the disappearing Fire Hydrants in the City for quite some-time. The many roads that have been reconstructed over the past 5 years, most without proper designs and specs, have simply built over a lot of these hydrants, or they have been filled with stones to provide more parking space etc. Some of the metal caps have been scavenged for scrap metal sale rendering the hydrants useless. The result is clear when, such in the case of the recent Colorpak fire – the Fire Brigade could not locate the water hydrant.

Years ago we had transparent maps pinpointing the location of each hydrant in Lae, and organised an exercise for each property owner to identify each hydrant adjacent to their property. Our old plans are no longer relevant and there are no updated plans that we know of (if we get them we will advise accordingly). The trouble is that the water hydrants are owned by Water PNG and they have been busy renovating the aging water service. We will start action on updating the water hydrants by coordinating the efforts of both the Lae Fire Service and Water PNG.

In the meantime you can perform a valuable public service and protect your business, yourself, your family, and your neighbours by taking the responsibility for identifying and clearing any fire hydrants near your property or home, particularly when these rains have finished. If you have a hydrant on or near your property please clear the hydrant at least to a 30 cm surrounding area. Should these hydrants be required in an emergency, cleared hydrants can be located faster and save precious time.

A clearly visible, accessible fire hydrant could save your home, business – or even your life!

If you find that there are no hydrants where they should be or where they used to be, please report it by return email to

SURVEY – Over the next month the Lae Fire Services Officers will be conducting an assessment of business properties, so as to assess the High, Medium and Low risk Buildings. I will be providing the Fire Officers a list of members contacts and locations, and ask you to provide as many details required to update their records. This will be valuable for many reasons which I leave to your imagination, but those that you may not be immediately aware of, this is important to plan accurately for more facilities and appropriate equipment, as well as where and how many further Fire Stations are required in the city and where to locate them.

We ask you to assist where you can when these officers come calling.


I did mention in this newsletter 2 weeks ago, that we would provide awareness on the much talked about registration for the BIOMETRIC PROGRAMME.

Unfortunately my efforts to get appropriate and adequate information has not been forthcoming from the Lae District Office, even though I have been promised 4 times to receive it. Yesterday I received this letter (click here) which asks me to provide awareness to Business Houses for them to get their employees to comply with registering, without providing any of the necessary information.

I have once again asked for this information to be made available to me and of course I will send this to members when it comes to hand.

The trouble with this whole exercise is that the LCCI could be branded uncooperative and unsupportive in this exercise, without having full information so as properly brief our member industries beforehand. We are always most willing to assist with any Government exercise, whether it be to provide information for surveys or helping with electoral enrolment or voting etc. As long as we know what it is that we are recommending.


We are advised by Water PNG that the Low water pressure over the last 4 weeks is due to the following:

Continuous PPL voltage surge resulting in massive damages to bores – 5 bore pumps on motor side suffered irreparable damage. Bores 2, 3, 6 and 7 (twice) were damaged in just 2 months. The follow–on effect has caused pressure losses in the network as we relied on only 3 weak pumps these last three weeks.  Upon arrival of new spare pumps, bores 2, 6 and 7 have since been restored.  Bore 3 is the latest pump that is  down.

We are in constant contact with PPL to improve on this area as it is causing a lot of unplanned cost to us at this time.

We are also taking firm action to alleviate this shortfall by the installation of a new and effective Genset and Switchboards, with the aim of “cushioning” the voltage surges and minimisation of the damage to our Pumps.

A separate notice ( denoting specific date and timing) will be sent to you as well as the Lae Public for residents and business houses to fill up reserves, when the installation and Changeover takes effect shortly.