Minister for Sports Justin Tkatchenko and Papua New Guinea Sports Foundation chairman Graham Osborne made this clarification yesterday following a story in The National yesterday, quoting an unnamed member of the Lae HOC.
Tkatchenko said already the national government through PNGSF has committed K8.5 million for the upgrading of the Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium’s facilities.
Minister Tkatchenko brushed aside reports that the national government had turned a blind eye to the upgrading of sporting venues.
He said K7 million has already been released for a brand new synthetic track at Sir Ignatius at a cost of K2.5 million, another K2 million for the indoor stadium and outdoor stadium and a further K2.5 million for the swimming pool.
The outdoor stadium will cater for netball and volleyball.
An additional K1.5 million will cover administrative costs.
Tkatchenko added that Kokopo was a different story – it needed new facilities to run the games so the commitment had to be more.
“For Lae’s case, it has existing facilities and all we have to do is upgrade and the provincial government is supposed to come good too knowing that was one of the bidding requirements to allocate funding,” Tkatchenko added.
He said the K23 million is the Host Organising Committee’s budget for other venues apart from the PNGSF run facilities.
“Lae will host the PNG Games and we are ready to deliver that,” Osborne said, in supporting the Minister.
PNGSF executive director Peter Tsiamalili Jr chimed in that all focus was on facilitating the games and any suggestions of the games in limbo were totally misleading.
A PNG Games Council meeting is scheduled for February 8-9 in Port Moresby to discuss major issues regarding the bi-annual event.