PORT MORESBY - Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has wished good luck to Team PNG who will take part in the 2015 Pacific Games. O’Neill urged Papua New Guineans to rally behind the Games and make it a memorable event.
“Please extend the support to not only our PNG athletes but all the others. They are our visitors. We must not forget our Melanesian way of welcoming visitors,” he said.
Prime Minister O'Neill also opened two facilities worth a total of K400 million, commending all those who had worked hard to get them ready for the Pacific Games.
He opened the K280-million Games Village at the University of PNG, and the K120-million refurbishment of the Jackson Airport international terminal. He said he had some misgivings on whether the Games Village would be completed on time to accommodate more than 3000 athletes and officials.
The events start on Friday but the official opening of the Pacific Games by Prince Andrew is on Saturday evening.
“This is not a one-man show. It takes a team of people to deliver it and it takes each and every one of you to play your part so that we can deliver world-class infrastructure that we all should be proud of,” O’Neill said.
The village has 1078 rooms in 10 blocks, which can accommodate more than 4000 athletes and officials. The construction of the facility began in February 2013. It will be used by university students after the Games.
“This facility is not going to serve this one-off event,” O’Neill said.
“They have been deliberately built so that we can pass it on to educating future young leaders and of course citizens off our country. There will be over 4000 students using this facility going into the future.
“We are going to work with the university in making sure that we have the maintenance and the management of this facility so that we maintain the standard that we all expect.”
On the airport renovations, O’Neill said: “We must believe in ourselves that such infrastructure developments can be done in PNG.”
Joseph Tupiri, the acting managing director of the National Airport Corporation, said the renovation work took 20 months.
Meanwhile, participating Teams from the other countries started arriving this week. The Pacific Games will be opened by his Highness Prince Andrew on Saturday. [PNGFact]