3 Mar 2010

Port Moresby governor says people won't forgive him if park is lost to developers

2:59 pm on 3 March 2010

The governor of Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby, says people won't forgive him if he caves in to developers who want control of the city's Unagi Park.

The comment follows a Supreme Court decision that allows for the National Capital District Commission's challenge to the commercial rezoning of the parkland to be heard in the National Court.

Governor Powes Parkop says the latest decision follows an appeal by two companies against a National Court decision last year in which the commission sought a review of government approval of the re-zoning of Unagi Park from open space for public use to a commercial area.

Governor Parkop says taking the case through the courts is time-consuming but it sets a precedent for retaining open spaces for recreation.

"It's a feature of our city, it's close to the airport, when people fly in coming to Port Moresby in the afternoon you will see people playing there and enjoying themselves and if you take that away and put high rises or whatever, it's like you're coming to a city where you start to see a concrete jungle, where are the people? I don't think the people of Port Moresby will forgive me if I make a deal with the developers."

Governor Powes Parkop of Port Moresby.