12 Jan 2010

LNG project expected to add to PNG capital's housing problems

5:26 pm on 12 January 2010

A fund involved in housing construction in Papua New Guinea is warning that squatter settlements will increase, once construction of the liquefied gas project starts this year.

The huge project will pump gas from the Highlands and Western Province via a pipeline to the Port Moresby port.

Port Moresby already has a housing problem, where many squatter settlements lack electricity, fresh water and sanitation.

The National Superannuation Fund co-chief executive, Rod Mitchell, says about half a million people are expected to be lured to Port Moresby by the project in the next decade, making houses even less affordable.

"The LNG project is going to make things worse because what will happen is that we'll have a huge influx of people from outside or Port Moresby thinking this is their El Dorado. They'll all be looking for jobs and there just won't be enough to cater for the influx. What we'll probably see is expansion of the settlements which are outside the city centre."

Rod Mitchell says it'll create many social problems.