As the first light tore through the morning sky this morning, people in large numbers along with family members and friends flocked to Independence Hill in the city of Port Moresby to witness the raising of the Red, Black and Gold with pride.
As the flag was slowly being raised, you could hear a pin drop from afar as the crowd stood in reverence.
Standing in unison, the moment showcased unity in diversity, a sight our founding fathers would be proud to witness. Apart from the city residents who attended the solemn event, diplomats and representatives of Papua New Guinea’s allies, members of the United States Armed forces and others.
On behalf of Prime Minister (PM) James Marape, who was not present due to “Religious Commitments,” and the absence of his Deputy John Rosso, who is away on duty travel, Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey addressed those in attendance, thanking them for their faith and hope in the country.
“There is so much to be proud of as a young nation. Despite those that doubted whether we would survive as a nation, we have. Despite being the most diverse nation on earth, we are still a united country under one flag.”
The Treasurer through his address, highlighted that as a young nation the country has been through trying times and continues to go through challenges, but urged that through the diverse culture that the country has, it is prerogative that working towards taking back the country through economic independence is key to securing the country’s future from a developing nation to a developed one, in the wider international community.
He stated that the country has grown significantly since independence. Noting that prior to independence the population was just under 4 million to what is now estimated to be over 12 million this year.
Comparing the economy to yesteryears, the treasurer also stated that with strong growth policies and a particular focus on a rural agricultural economy, it is expected to grow exponentially by 2030.
“We also acknowledge that there is still much more work to be done. For many, the hopes and dreams have not been fully realized. We know that so many of our households are struggling with the cost-of-living pressures.”
“We know that the law-and-order situation needs tremendous improvements for our people to feel safe and secure. We know there is a long way to go.”
He explained that development is a very long process, one that must be pursued tirelessly.
He believes that the current government is putting in place policies to better meet the people’s aspirations.
Ling Stuckey went on to state that countless state projects continue to unlock and access rural communities and continues to be a great enabler for the country’s future.