O'Neill to wage war on guns

UPGRADING transport infrastructure and tackling law and order are new priority areas for reform by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.
O'Neill to wage war on guns O'Neill to wage war on guns O'Neill to wage war on guns O'Neill to wage war on guns O'Neill to wage war on guns

At the People's National Congress party convention on Friday, O'Neill discussed illegal firearms and plans to recruit more police and soldiers.

PNG is estimated to have around 3000 police who work in the field, along with just 2000 PNG Defence Force soldiers.

According to The National, O'Neill said if his party were returned to power post-election, all high-powered guns would be locked up in armouries while disciplinary forces would just carry side arms (hand guns).

He reportedly said the numbers of police and PNGDF would be doubled.

"When law and order problems persist, you will not prosper in whatever you want to do," O'Neill reportedly said.

Infrastructure

According to the newspaper, O'Neill said his government was negotiating with the Export Import Bank of China for a loan to upgrade a 150km section of the Highlands Highway from Lae to Watarais.

While his government's education and health policies are well known, he also revealed plans to overhaul the nation's highways, wharfs and jetties, especially once the PNG LNG project starts exporting.

"When the economy will grow in 2014 during the export of LNG, we need improved and expanded infrastructures," he reportedly said.

Political union

Deputy PM, Forestry Minister and PNG party leader Belden Namah wants to delay the scheduled mid-year election by 12 months while O'Neill wants polling to start up as planned in June.

Despite these differences, the PNG Party will reportedly join forces with O'Neill's PNC party to contest the upcoming election.

According to the newspaper, Namah proved this alliance was not fake by personally giving the PNC 250,000 kina ($A 109.376) to help its "election operation".

Election campaigning is not supposed to start until the writs are issued, however many people suspect it is well and truly underway.

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