17 Feb 2004

Judge in PNG says the public service in the Highlands has stopped working

6:27 am on 17 February 2004

A National Court Judge in Papua New Guinea says the public service machinery in the Southern Highlands is not working.

Justice Panuel Mogish says the only part of the public service still functioning are the teachers and the hospital.

He says the seven-storey Agiru Centre, the tallest building in the Highlands, is deserted apart from security and it has been left idle with peeling paint.

Justice Mogish says other provincial buildings were without curtains and furniture and only one or two people were working inside them.

The judge's comments come after the Public Service Minister, Peter O'Neil, announced his decision to send investigators to probe the public service machinery and report back.