PNG’s longest serving politician Governor Chan hits ground running

Ambassador Zeng Fanhua and Sir Julius Chan
Ambassador Zeng Fanhua and New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan (right) ... discussions over the PNG-China historical relationship, the Taiwan crisis and development opportunities. Image: PNG Post-Courier

By Thierry Lepani of the PNG Post-Courier in Port Moresby

Papua New Guinea’s longest serving politician and oldest member of Parliament is already getting things moving in his province a week after being sworn-in.

New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, 82, is not wasting his renewed five-year mandate and has given instructions for road projects to start.

His 56-year career — including two terms as Prime Minister– spans a crucial period of the country’s history, particularly its coming of age from an Australian colony to a leading democratic nation in the South Pacific.

According to Sir Julius’ media team, work has commenced on the West Coast highway in New Ireland and aims to make it better than the East Coast highway.

In a statement, he said: “The highway must be equal if not better than the East Coast Highway. If it is not then we are wasting our time and we would not have left a mark on this place.

“You may be the last but you will be the best.”

Works Manager Solomon Pela said the West Coast would be getting K5 million (NZ$2.3 million) worth of road works done and it would be funded by the New Ireland government.

“The new highway will empower you economically, socially and dramatically change your living standards for the better.”

On top of this Sir Julius also met with Chinese Ambassador Zeng Fanhua last Thursday with discussions covering the two countries’ historical relationship, the Taiwan crisis and general development opportunities.

Thierry Lepani is a PNG Post-Courier journalist. Republished with permission.

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