The Pro-Active Voice of the Morobe Business Sector

From the President’s Desk – 29 May 2015

LAE NADZAB ROAD
The serious rain we have experienced in the last week has caused some major flooding in and around Lae but it was particularly noticeable in the 5 and 6 mile sections of the Nadzab Road, where the contractors are currently working on forming the new 4 lane road.

The mud and debris has flowed into the settlements but also Mainland Holdings numerous properties including Tablebirds Production factory, the Swiss Mission dairy farm and numerous other properties in the area.

Bruce Warner the Overseeing Project Engineer from Melbourne based engineering company, Global Pacific Group has advised that the culverts have been designed for a storm event of 1 in 50.

He has directed contractors China Railways International to reconsider the storm event at 1 in 100 and a box culvert instead of the multi pipe solution.

Bruce went on to say that “The issue of debris will not just be resolved by larger pipes or a box culvert and upstream management is something we are going to have to also consider. We will keep you informed on the results of the further engineering studies.”

Bruce’s timely advice is most reassuring.

Australia Future Unlimited Education Roadshow PNG 2015
This popular Education Roadshow will be in Lae Tuesday 09th June 12:00pm to 5:00pm at the Lae International Hotel.

Representatives from 28 Australian Universities and Technical Colleges will be able to discuss the values of their institution and hand out information pamphlets and booklets. It is expected that this will be of interest to intending applicants for future Australia Awards scholarships, Privately sponsored students, CEOs and HR/Training Managers seeking information on courses available for staff and of course the public in general.

For further information click here

CHANGE OF DATE FOR QUEENS BIRTHDAY HOLIDAY
We forwarded a separate notice during the week advising of the change of date for the Queen’s Birthday holiday from 13th June to 8th June 2015. We have included a copy of the relevant gazette in our notices section making this change official. If you need a further copy of this Gazette please contact admin@lcci.org.pg.

NEW TELIKOM MICROWAVE LINK TO MADANG
The Telikom installed OPWG link to Madang, which links up to the International Gateway has certainly resulted in overall speedier and more reliable internet service in Lae. This link however has had its challenges, as the main Fibre Optic Communication cable is hosted on PNG Power pylons between Lae and Madang and this has regularly been impacted by floods and landslips, compounded by vandalism;. With these events, the internet service has been down for extensive periods, as the power has to be reconnected first before the damage to the Telikom cable can be fixed.

The CEO of Telikom Michael Donnelly told us on a recent visit to Lae that Telikom is preparing to install a Microwave connection from Lae to Madang which will obviate the need to use the Power Pylons. He said that the Microwave system will not only be more reliable but faster and enable more connections.

CHEAPER INTERNET
Whilst this better link to Madang is good news to Lae businesses, the Telikom announcement this week that they will be decreasing the price of the internet to ISP’s is most welcome indeed. In a statement released this week, Telikom says:

“TELIKOM PNG has announced its new competitive internet rates reducing prices by more than 50% for more bandwidth for its prepaid and post-paid internet plans.

Marketing and Business Development Divisional Manager– Xavier Victor, when making the announcement said Telikom will remain competitive to offer affordable internet rates for everyday Papua New Guineans to have access to the internet.

“Other than being competitive in the retail market, implementation of new technology that Telikom continues to rollout is another key factor enabling Telikom to bring its rates down. The Ultra Broadband service using the ADSL2+ technology that offers customers’ fixed broadband connectivity for faster internet speed is an example of the new technology to be introduced to the market,” Mr Victor remarked.

“The previous plan charge for a 1GB plan was K110 is now brought down to K49 while a 5GB plan was selling K550 is now K249 are some examples of new price range for the Internet Plans for post-paid. The post-paid bundle plans range from 300MB to 1Terabyte bundle plans.”

NEWS FROM THE PNG CANCER RELIEF SOCIETY
We all know the great work that the PNG Cancer Relief Society (PNGCRS) does to raise money to better equip the Cancer Ward at Angau and John and Jan Clark have worked tirelessly for years, to keep the contributions flowing to support this most valuable vital service.

I would like to raise to your attention some of the current issues, which the PNG Cancer Relief Society is concerned about in an effort to encourage some further support.

The PNGCRS has invested time and money in a Brachytherapy room and equipment which is fully fitted out but has not been usable for the last six months due to lack of two staff. This of course means that patients with potential survival of cervical cancer are severely threatened. We call upon the Administrators of Angau for assistance in fast tracking the appointment of these needed staff in co- ordination with the Radiation Oncologists so that this vital equipment can commence treatment.

We are also told that a Melbourne Hospital has a wide Bore CT scanner which is almost new and being donated to the cancer Centre at Angau. The Secretary of Health has approved this donation but there is a need for an insulated room to be constructed to house this scanner. An appropriate location for this scanner has been set aside and plans have been drawn up. The Hospital is prepared to meet some of the costs, and already some companies have agreed to donate building supplies. Further assistance is necessary to facilitate the construction this most necessary building which can be relayed to John Clark at jc@kapiandclarke.com.pg phone 4727910 or Mob 70428092.

FIRES
Again fires have destroyed two of Lae city’s major stores in the past fortnight – Brian Bells top town store and Courts premises, which also housed Daltron. The Lae fire service is copping a lot of flack because of these fires and so far their investigations, and those of insurance assessors have not pin-pointed any causes.

Whilst this process is happening we again take the opportunity to strongly advise member companies to ensure that they check all the electric wiring, fittings and switchboards. Some of the buildings, particularly the older ones, have exposed wiring from rats, or are fitted with old fashioned switchboards that may not cut out when there is an electrical short. Regular checks are necessary to check for faults.

The Fire Department in Lae has only one fire station, with insufficient trucks and equipment. They have been promised funds from both the National Government and the Morobe Provincial Government, to equip the Fire station better but they are still waiting.

Lae is often called the boom town and the developments we have seen over the past 5 or 6 years has certainly pointed to a period of rapid expansion. The Fire Department however has got fewer trucks and older equipment to deal with fires.

What is needed is a very hard look at the requirements to build up an effective firefighting service for a city the size of Lae. The LCCI believes that there should be at least three Fire stations for Lae; more trucks including one with snorkel facilities to battle fires in high rise buildings; and modern equipment and chemicals.

Also the fire hydrants need to be audited for effectiveness and location. The Lae Fire Chief has advised that some of the fire hydrants have disappeared with the construction of the new concrete roads. Sometimes when they attend a fire they cannot locate the hydrant. It might be a good idea for members to identify the hydrants adjacent to their premises. If they cannot be located report this to the Fire Service or Water PNG Office. Numbers are Fire Station: 472 4818 /472 4333 or 110 for Digicel subscribers and Water PNG on 472 3852 or vraka@waterpng.com.pg.

Water PNG must also guarantee the pressure in the hydrants so that if they are needed in an emergency, they will be as effective as they possibly can be.

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