New Ireland Province’s aspiration of attaining autonomy is slowing coming into fruition with the first reading on the proposed amendment to the Constitution on Autonomy which is expected to go through the next session of Papua New Guinea Parliament.

Veteran politician and New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius, will present the amendment bill and is hopeful the House will give their unanimous support to make his and New Ireland’s dream a reality.

The amendment to the Constitution will give effect to grant and establish autonomous governments in PNG, giving provinces like New Ireland attain some level of independence in decision-making and development aspirations.

The proposed amendment will capture the decentralisation of powers to achieve, including:
*Political autonomy;
*Administrative autonomy; and
*Financial autonomy.

The autonomous arrangement will enable a shared power between the national government and the provinces and which will also allow the provinces to remain as an integral part of PNG.

“The lack of a national policy and law on autonomy should not continue the status quo on the delay of provinces on the progress towards autonomy, but rather forge ahead to lay the foundation to establish an autonomous status,” Sir Julius said.

The Provincial Health Authority (PHA) Amendment Bill, New Ireland University Bill and Mining Amendment Bill are also expected to be presented by Sir Julius.

That includes amendments to the Provincial Health Authority Act to decentralise Provincial Health Authority functions to the provinces and for New Ireland to have its own university to build and grow its own human resource and for landowners to fully benefit from their resources.