MV Paga (Picture credit PNG ports FB page)
The well established and enduring relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia was highly acknowledged by the Australian Minister of International Development and the Pacific, Hon. Pat Conroy during the introduction and launching of PNG Ports latest K2.2 million customized pilot boat project at Port Moresby's Fairfax harbour waterfront recently.
In a small but significant ceremony, the K2.2 million customized pilot boat named as MV Paga was launched by the Minister Councillor to the Australian High Commission, Diane Barclay. MV Paga is named after the hill which overlooks the Fairfax Harbour where PNG Ports Corporation operates from in Port Moresby.
MV Paga is part of the K11 million investment by PNG ports on the purchase of five first of its kind customized boats in which two similar boats were also delivered last year to boost its fleet, meet business demands and industry standards.
Minister Conroy said it was a real great pleasure to be present and the event represents a series of combined efforts between the two nations.
"It is really heartfelt, and we have so much in common between PNG and Australia. We are close neighbours and we are deep friends and that friendship only grows and our personal bonds, whether its in religion, sports, or education were it ties us together. And today is a special day for better economic cooperation so we can grow together, " Conroy said.
PNG Ports Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rodney Begley said "PNG Ports and Australia have a long history together with the foundations of our 15 ports built under the administration of Australia".
"Further strengthening our relationship, PNG Ports has also received funding support from the Australian Government to upgrade these ports. PNG Ports is thankful for this support by the people of Australia, and we hope to keep this partnership". He added.
Meanwhile, Minister for State Enterprise, William Duma praised the launching and delivery of MV Paga as another milestone achievement. Duma said the launch of MV Paga marks the delivery of the third pilot boat departing from the people of Australia to the people of PNG and the PNG Ports Corporation.
"Australia have been very generous in helping us when we needed them and today is another example of what the people and the Government of Australia have done by agreeing to fund our port facilities throughout the 21 maritime provinces and bring this very important pilot boats to help operations in the country". Duma said.
Minister Duma further took the opportunity on behalf of the Government of PNG to acknowledge and thank the Australian Government for their generous support and assistance to the people of PNG.