‘Allo ‘Allo! What’s happening in Alotau?

(editor’s note) Would a concerned citizen who has the means, please print out this article and distribute amongst the citizens of Milne Bay, Alotau.  Thank you.

By a concerned citizen and a confused observer.

Milne Bay Province (MBP) is an undiscovered jewel in PNG’s tourism industry. But, it looks as if some businesses are positioning themselves to bring about a change to this.  Has anyone else noticed the changes taking place on our beach-fronts?

Milne Bay 2

Look at this picture: an ugly concrete wharf jutting out into this beautiful bay; it’s rumored that this is only one of two or more such jetties built of concrete and strategically located in our beautiful bays.



This surely means that someone is getting ready to do business – a concrete jetty, naturally protected deep water bay, a beautiful people, friendly coastline and even a small clean community market – ideal for a tourist business, but whose? Is it going to be ours or some big business company who will move in and move us out?

It’s not as if the jetty is ‘user-friendly’ for local dinghies; indeed, why aren’t the local dinghies tied to the jetty? There are no women, children and men throwing out lines; no dinghy owners and passengers jostling to load up and head up along the northern coastline to Taupota-Wamira-Wedau-Baniara and keep going. Did the local communities ask for an unsustainable concrete jetty? If not, then why was this jetty (and the others) built on our front beach?

Locals on the beach
Locals on the beach

But we must do more than just take note, it’s essential to our livelihood, our way of life – we must ask questions in relevant quarters. In fact the first (and best) person to ask would be the Governor. He certainly would know the answers and knowing the Honorable Member’s family you will get honest answers.

And after asking questions, we must go ahead and do something with the jetties and not wait until ex politicians and big business come in and take the jetties off us. These are our jetties now as they are on our front beaches and in our beautiful bays.

Let’s take someone else’s sneaky plans and turn them to our community’s advantage and development.  That is surely what the Governor would want us to do – isn’t it Governor?

Share Button

4 thoughts on “‘Allo ‘Allo! What’s happening in Alotau?

  1. Hmm, that’s interesting….”ugly concrete jetty” that will last for 50 years as opposed to a wooden jetty that lasts about 5 years max? That makes sense – NOT!
    Jetties are the lifeblood of coastal communities and very little money has gone into jetties over the years. The jetties from the old Administration days are long gone which has made it very difficult for local communities to access boats from the bank, impossible in many areas.
    It pretty easy to sit back and make comment about these things when you don’t actually experience these difficulties for yourself. I suggest next time, before shooting from the hip, you actually visit some of these communities who are getting these jetties and see the difference it makes to their lives.
    Visiting one jetty location doesn’t make you an expert and give the politicians some credit for what they are trying to do.

  2. Over the last couple of years, Nawae Construction has been contracted by the Alotau District and Milne Bay Provincial Government to build a number jetties in various locations in Milne Bay – Awaiama, Wedau, Sirisiri, Bako, Kitava, Kaibola, Suau Island. These were standard government contracts, which included community consultation with government officials and were awarded through a transparent tender process. The jetties are key to developing maritime transport infrastructure in these areas, as they provide safe and necessary facilities for passenger and cargo boats – not necessarily dinghies as stated by the author. The structures have no association with private enterprise or business and were built by a PNG owned and operated, Milne Bay based construction company. They are a quality product and far superior to what one will find in other maritime provinces in PNG. The structures have been professionally engineered and designed with a 50+ year lifespan and minimal maintenance, meaning in 10, 20, 30 years these jetties will not have deteriorated or rotted tot he point they become unusable, an eyesore or worse a navigational hazard.
    Nawae Construction is a responsible contractor and the appropriate environmental controls were put in place at all sites during the construction program. Nawae enjoyed a very positive and enjoyable construction program at all of these sites, with full cooperation and support from local communities. Nawae Construction can be contacted further on info@nawae.com.pg or on our Facebook Page.

  3. This post has brought some very positive thoughts both on this blog and Sharp Talk on FB. However having read through everything, I feel obliged to correct certain misconceptions and give readers an understanding of the concept behind the jetties and the roads within Alotau District. I am a local of the area in question and spent the last three (3) years of my life working for the Provinical Government on the jetties in question and the roads along the North Coast, therefore the thought that my efforts and sacrifices for my district have been in vain does not go down well with me. In response to “Allo Allo! What’s Happening in Alotau”, the author obviously implies that there is something sinister (lets hope not a conspiracy) associated with the construction of the Jetties in terms of economic benefits in the future. To be frank, I am not aware of any big tourist businesses positioning themselves to take over awaiama (if anyone is, please let me know so I can let Mr. Garubedidi know!!!). All I am aware of is the district is positioning itself to bring economic prosperity to its people. While employed with the MBPG I had the privilege of working with the current Member for Alotau and if there is one thing I learnt from him, it is never deviate from a plan once you’re sure it’s right. That is exactly what he has done, he has set a plan for the district and is slowly accomplishing the set goals year after year. Let me fill you in, the Member and his JDBPC’s plans in brief are firstly to fix up the transport infrastructure, secondly introduce new/maintain old communication networks and finally support economic growth. Can you see the link between these three (3) objectives/goals??? How I see it the “Member and his JDBPC’s” (to be frank lets just say Alotau District Administration or ADA) main goal is to improve the lives of the people of Alotau District, and we all know that improving living standards will come partly as a result of economic growth in the district. Now how do we expect the economy to grow when there is no access available to sell produce or minerals etc, well that’s where the need to fix and build transport infrastructure comes in but then for a good transport network to function effeciently and safely you need a good communication network. I’ll give you an example ADA sourced funding from the National Government (in the last term) to maintain the North Coast Road, then ADA built the Awaiama, Wedau, Sirisiri & Tarakwaruru (Bako) Jetties, then ADA through an arrangement with Digicel put up mobile phone towers around the district and finally ADA purchased a Cargo Boat (MV Alotau 1)plus numerous Ward Council Dinghies and Tractors for the Northern Coast of Milne Bay and is currently operating the boat in partnership with the Anglican Church serving the people. To make it more meaningful, Lawrence captain of the Alotau 1 calls into wedau on a regular round trip, there he bumps into a man from Gadovisu, Harry, who has managed to transport 20 bags of coffee down to the Jetty with the ADA provided tractor, Lawrence tells his crew to load the bags and they’re off. Between Wedau and Girumia, Harry approaches Lawrence and adivses him that he really needs to get to town before 4pm to ensure that his coffee bags are loaded on a consort vessel to lae for sale. So Lawrence calls his bro David who owns a couple of PMV’s that service the NCR. David is keen to help so he gets the ETA from Lawrence and waits at Awaiama Jetty just before the boat calls in. As soon as Alotau 1 calls in the crew boys begin unloading the boat of the 20 bags of coffee, David then gets his boys to load his two PMVs with the Coffee. Harry pays Lawrence and they’re off on the PMV. But then at Iapoa the rain begins to pound down heavily and the creeks turn an unwelcoming brown but the drivers continue on to Alotau without a hitch because all the creeks have ‘all weather’ crossings built across them. Harry gets to town delivers the coffee to the main wharf. Gets the IRB form goes to town faxes this to his buyer. His buyer calls him and advises that his account has been credited, so he goes to the bank withdraws some of the money and pays David also arranging for his return trip after shopping of course (So a business transaction that would have cost more in terms of time and money 10 years ago has been made a whole lot more effecient, now isn’t that better then remaining as we were???). I can tell you honestly that I am not a avid supporter of the current member however I do support his overall plans/policies and because there is no other candidate who comes even close to being that committed it is my duty to put his name down on the No. 1 spot every 5 years, until of course someone else proves to be better. So hats of to you Hon. Charlie Abel, and may you continue to lead us in the right direction. To cut the long story short…’Allo ‘Allo! It’s Happening in Alotau!…oh P.S for the benefit of the author of the original post…you probably took the picture of the jetty at the wrong time, say maybe around 4pm to 6pm in the evening you try, hidomo Iana full up yah (oh and that’s usually when the passengers return from town on paradel/little express to catch a ride on the dinghies home!! Tinani Baneina Duma!