Pacific Games organisers in PNG race against the clock
Pacific Games organisers in PNG are still unsure if all venues will be complete for next July.
The Organising Committee for next year's Pacific Games in Port Moresby say construction is happening around the clock in at effort to complete venues and accommodation in time for the main event.
The Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko pledged at the end of last year that all venues and facilities for the 2015 Games would be delivered on schedule.
The Chair of the Organising Committee, Emma Waiwai, told Vinnie Wylie that Games officials have named 2014 as the year of action.
EMMA WAIWAI: We meet on a weekly basis, just to get an update from the project managers to how we're progressing. At this stage we're very comfortable that the swimming pool and the indoor complex - the new one that's being built in Taurama will be ready. [For] the Games Village we have a few plans in place. By this week we will actually know for sure whether the whole village will be ready for us or - there's ten blocks to be built but if they can't get the ten blocks built in time how many will be ready by three months out from the Games so that we, as the Games Organising Committee, can start getting temporarily ready to be able to accommodate all the athletes and officials that will be here. The stadium I think is progressing well. What most of the contractors are doing now is they're now working three shifts, which means 24 hours a day to get things going so the Minister is confident, the government is actually confident and we are confident that a couple of the stadiums will be ready for us. Those that are not ready we already have contingency plans in place to be able to facilitate for all 28 sports come fourth of July.
VINNIE WYLIE: When do you anticipate that you will be able to sign off and say everything is done - athlete's we're ready?
EW: At the general assembly in July, that will be hosted here in PNG, we want to be able to tell every country that comes what we have in place so yes we will have a Games Village. Whether it will be all ten blocks or six blocks what we will be telling them is this is the Games Village, this is where we're going to house all the athletes, these are all the venues where the Games are going to be played at. What we've agreed to is that all the new infrastructure is being built for legacy mode. Even if it's not ready for us to have during the Games we will still be able to play in every sport at whatever venue and come July we want to be able to tell all the countries attending that 'this is where netball will be played, this is where basketball will be played, soccer will be played', so at least they know which of the venues that their athletes will be playing on.
VW: And do you still anticipate to be over-budget and if so how much?
EW: I'm not sure. I don't know how much more the government will be able to give us or how much more we require. At this stage I think the 1.2 billion [kina] that we've been saying all along I think is sufficient. It's actually taken into account a lot of the shortfalls and the extra things that we need to purchase in time to get the Games going.
VW: So the money that you have been given to this point you believe is enough?
EM: I think so, yes.
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