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Governor Parkop is doing a fantastic job in transforming the city. He has been quite successful in bringing international events to the nation’s capital.
The Pacific Games, the Rugby League World Cup and before that the Fifa Under 20 Women’s World Cup have all been held successfully by the hosting city.
It is not entirely clear what exactly where the major goals in playing host to these events but generally it’ s all about sports tourism. We were promised an increase in tourism revenue after the events and a greater city profile around the world.
The most recent mission to bring the 7’s based on a reported quote of the Governor is to “. . have to continue to lift and push the boundaries for our people and our country. Get them to imagine a greater future and together we work towards that greater future”.
Those words are vague at most and do not clearly outline what exactly is in it for the people.
What are the boundaries to lift and push? What greater future can we imagine from these events?
The biggest concern is that many of us do not know how these past events have directly or indirectly contributed to the people.
Have these events contributed to the decline in unemployment levels? Do people have a greater spending power now than before the Pacific Games?
The thing is, if we’re going to host these events with the promise that these events will improve the lives of our people whether directly or indirectly, should we not make a post-analysis to determine whether the promises have been realized and if not, why not?
Port Moresby is hosting event after event with little or no evaluation as to how well or worse we’ve fared.
Major event organisers hosting such events rely on sports tourism revenue. If you look at the revenue coming in, it all goes to hotels and restaurants. Hardly anything for the locals to cheer about after the event.
Instead of hosting these events, at least for now given our current circumstances, could we focus on initiating programs that enable the general public to feel safer. Could we see a change in attitude within the force or even NCDC’s very own city rangers where the people feel safe instead of avoiding them. Could we see foot patrols so that residents know there’s someone to count on when their safety is at risk?
The Sir Hubert Murray Stadium is being marked as the venue for this event. Yet we have two or three more stadiums laying idle. Could we minimise uneccessarry costs and make use of facilities that are already here and divert the money to essential services in the areas of health and education?
It’s about time authorities focus more on creating sustainable employment opportunities that enable residents to put food on the table for the long-term.
Obviously, previous events have done very little to push those boundaries for the better so there is no doubt the next event won’t change the status.
Last time we heard, tourism numbers have gone down and forecast isn’t that great either.
Ironically, there are street sellers just outside the NCDC Headquarters and young kids begging within the busy traffic area. Perhaps that’s a sign of a call-out to city authorities to put the people first.
We need jobs. We want to hear about projects that will provide more job opportunities. We need employment creation. If you can consistently create these opportunities, you’re going to push boundaries.
People need to feed themselves. People need to be empowered and if you can do this, they’ll be able to buy better housing, buy something more comfortable and very soon, they’ll get away from the slums of settlement living which believe it or not, will gradually solve the settlement problem many taxpayers continue to complain about.
Give them jobs to push boundaries. Not one off-events that only benefit a few.