Friday 17 September 2021
Commissioner of Police and Controller of the PNG COVID-19 National Pandemic Response David Manning is standing by the Eastern Highlands Provincial Government’s decision to cancel the annual Goroka Show.
Mr Manning said the Provincial Health Authorities and Provincial Administrators who have been appointed Assistant Controllers. are the people on the ground who make the necessary assessment and , ultimately the decision is a result of a collaborative process.
“If we don’t heed the advice and assessment of the PHAs and the Provincial Controllers we stand to take a bigger risk that can be alleged as professional negligence.
“ I am not prepared to take such a risk at this point in time. Days and weeks from now will prove whether this was the best decision for the health of our people or not.
“ We have been briefed that a delta surge will hit our country in the coming weeks so I will still stand by my actions and the decision by the EHP PHA and the PA as well as our good Eastern Highlands Governor Peter Numu,” Mr Manning said.
The Controller said the provincial administrator made a very conscious and difficult decision to cancel the Goroka Show, but that was done for and in the interest of public health, given the worrying COVID-19 situation in the province.
“We do not have the luxury of gambling with our peoples’ health and lives. Hard decisions need to be made and it takes PNG citizens in positions of trust and authority whilst dispensing their lawful duties to do so with due diligence and professionalism.
“ We all have a “Duty of Care” and responsibility to all our citizens and visitors during this Pandemic period.
“My position as National Controller is that PHAs must be the only legal authority in the provinces to make assessments and provide the necessary recommendations to the National Control Centre. I am satisfied with the process followed to reach the decision to cancel the show. It will be criminal on my part to allow the show to continue given such a recommendation from the provincial authorities.”
Mr Manning said he was aware that there will be many disappointed people but at least they will be alive to partake in many more shows in the future.
Media contact: Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
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