PNG provincial governor seeks financial autonomy

8:23 am on 14 April 2015

The Governor of West New Britain province in Papua New Guinea says a proposal for autonomous regional governments could be part of an ongoing discussion about decentralisation.

Sansindran Muthuvel's comment comes after PNG's opposition leader Don Polye called for national debate on the viability of regional governments.

New Britain coast, Papua New Guinea.

New Britain coast, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Alex Smith

Mr Polye has suggested that each of PNG's four regions should be given autonomy so that provinces within these regions can elect, legislate and regulate administrative and economic activities.

But Governor Muthuvel says the empowerment of provinces needs to be first explored.

"Because right now we (West New Britain) contribute so much to the national government, we still have no power when it comes to the national budget. If the concept is given to us fully explained, then I don't mind looking at it. I still feel it's an ongoing discussion. We'll be seeking more financial autonomy to the provinces before we can talk about setting up regional governments."