***UPDATE 28/7/205 – Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neil is expected to officially open Motukea Port on Wednesday 29/7/2015.***
The Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), the regulatory body in charge of overlooking State Owned Enterprises, has in a media release announced the acquisition of Port of Motukea for the purpose of relocating the Port Moresby from its current location at the city central business district.
The announcement was made by the Minister responsible for the IPBC,Ben Micah.
Minister Micah stated that the move was “to enhance the economic growth of the country, at the same time allowing the transformation of the Central Business District (CBD) of the nation’s capital.”
“The CBD of Port Moresby has reached operational capacity and has been ham-strung by traffic congestion and growth issues, forcing the Government to seek a viable solution that will assist in the long-term development of the city. It is anticipated that by relocating the port operations away from the CBD it will assist in creating a more functional and visually aesthetic urban landscape.” Mr Micah said.
When the relocation will actually happen is not yet known although based on the recent development activities happening in the the relocation could possibly commence as early as the end of this year.
The reasons behind the move is understandable as traffic in recent times has been congested in the CBD. Furthermore, heavy vehicles has placed a huge burden on the CBD roads and no doubt the relocation will offer some relief to the city’s road maintenance section.
The current location of wharf was most likely chosen by the colonial administration and used by the then trading companies Burns Philp and the still operating Steamship Trading Company.
However, the scarcity of space within the CBD has restricted city authorities from undertaking development activities in this prime area.
As the wharf is relocated, it is likely that commercial and retail premises will developed in this area with the aim of making Port Moresby a vibrant modern urban centre.
Landownership issues have always arisen in any development however it is believed that the State owns much of the land where the wharf is and that Port of Motukea is owned privately by Curtain Brothers Ltd.
Do you think this relocation exercise is a positive one for the city?