Games building delays claimed

KEY infrastructure for the 2015 Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea is unlikely to be completed by the time events begin in July, according to PNG’s Post Courier newspaper.
Games building delays claimed Games building delays claimed Games building delays claimed Games building delays claimed Games building delays claimed

The media outlet reported more claims that the Pacific Games Venue Infrastructure and Equipment Committee had major concerns about progress at the games village, the Taurama aquatic and indoor complex, the Sir John Guise indoor and outdoor complex and the Rita Flynn courts.

In a statement to the newspaper, PNG sports minister Justin Tkatchenko admitted there were concerns about delays on some projects, but he indicated he was "personally driving all efforts to ensure they are completed in time".

Delays in infrastructure projects ahead of major sporting events are nothing new and have been part of the pre-event media cycle for years, so the Pacific Games is no exception.

In March last year there were concerns that works on some facilities were only in the very early stages, or yet to start.

The latest report also raised concerns about the awarding of contracts, stating the process excluded the committee's consultants which would hamper its ability to hand over the infrastructure prior to the games.

The PNG government approved a $US105 million ($A129 million) budget to host the games.

The PNG committee has raised around $11.5 million of $23 million targeted in sponsorship from organisations such as Bank of South Pacific, copper and gold manufacturer Ok Tedi, PNG Power and Puma Energy.

The funds will be used to help prepare facilities, such as the tennis and squash venue.

Port Moresby 2015 chief executive Peter Stewart was reported to have said the bid committee was confident of reaching its goal in the near term.

"We are on track and are very confident that we will reach our target to deliver these games successfully," he said.

PNG's provincial government has been asked to develop live sites in order to allow PNG nationals to gather and watch the competitions.

The Pacific Games' relay is expected to begin on March 26 and will cross all 22 provinces in the nation over 100 days before arriving in the PNG capital for the opening ceremony.

The Games Relay is a major event in itself with over 10,000 people involved in the relay and a target to get over 250,000 people to be part of the experience.

The Pacific Games is scheduled for July 4-18 with 24 countries set to compete including Australia and New Zealand.

Both will compete in rugby sevens, weightlifting, sailing and taekwondo competitions, while New Zealand will also participate in football.

It is expected that nearly 4000 athletes will participate across the 25 sporting competitions.

There are just 184 days to go before the Port Moresby games kick off.

The 2019 games will be held in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.


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