Posted By Staff Reporter
THE public, private partnership (PPP) concept is expected to play an important role in transforming Papua New Guinea into an international sports hub in the future.
Minister for Sports and 2015 Pacific Games Justin Tkatchenko said two stadiums will be built under the PPP arrangements.
They are the K171 million world class rugby league (Lloyd Robson Oval) and the K61 million new look Sir Hubert Murray stadiums.
Both stadiums will have separate trustees to manage and run the affairs of the facilities.
A ground-breaking ceremony is set for January 14 for the Lloyd Robson which will be built under a credit scheme by Oil Search.
The Lloyd Robson Oval will be a rugby league centre but host other international tournaments as well, he said.
Tkatchenko said chairman of Trustees and the long-time PNG resident, Sir Mike Curtain of Curtain Brothers has put K50 million upfront to support PNG Governments’ contribution of K11 million to rebuild the Sir Hubert Murray stadium – the home of the 3rd South Pacific Games in 1969.
Sir Mike wanted to give something back to PNG and that was the reason why Prime Minister Peter O’Neill appointed him as the chairman of the trustees to ensure transparency during construction of the new stadium.
Tkatchenko said the two stadiums will bring to three the number of stadiums ready for the Pacific Games in March 2015. The other is the Sir John Guise stadium.
He said these stadiums will open up the doors to for PNG’s bid to enter a team into the Australian National Rugby League.
The Queensland Cup will be played in Kokopo, and when the stadiums are ready, home games will be moved to either Lloyd Robson Oval or Sir Hubert Murray.
Tkatchenko said during the World Cup in England they asked the International Rugby League Federation to host PNG’s pool matches. Australia and New Zealand will co-host the next World Cup.
He said IRL Board is keen to allow PNG Pool to be played in Port Moresby if the stadiums passed tests.
New Zealand will host its home game with all the finals to be contested in Australia.
Tkatchenko said England will do a world tour next year to play in Australia, and hopefully they can come to PNG to play the Kumuls.
The sporting stadiums will leave a lasting legacy after 2015 Games.
Other major sporting bodies like soccer, cricket, rugby, netball and softball will have their own improved sporting infrastructure.
“This is an opportunity for sports to grab it by both hands. It is a billion kina investment programme for sports in the country. It helps pave ways for sports to stage their international tournament as well in Port Moresby,” he said.
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