One night at Garden Hills the power went out. A fuse line or transformer or something blew up. It was a cold night.
Three PNG Power guys arrived in a big truck, one climbed up, had a look and came down.
He talked to the other two, they told us they would come back with a replacement or something. They came back about 30 minutes later, you could hear their truck grunt as it made its way up the slippery slopes.
They then changed the fuse/transformer, whatever it was…and power came back on to cheers on the hillside.
PNG Power, before it was ElCom, has been doing this for years.
Trying to make sure the mammoth task of providing electricity to Papua New Guineans is flowing.
Across this country, they risk their lives (if you dont know, electricity can kill) maintaining and growing the infrastructure.
It’s kind of sad when you see a leader’s kid complaining about the PNG Power when he/she receives more pocket money then the take home pay of a linesmen, who risks his life doing his job.
Now, these massive blackouts. Yes, I am pissed, how can this situation come to head? They are screwing up my usp!!
We all like to say incompetence, it’s our new buzz word. When we say it we feel the buzz of our wonderful intelligence. ‘Incompetence’ bzzzzz, bzzzz bzzzz.
But the situation at PNG Power is more complicated than the bzzz of incompetence. It’s a situation of old politics, of unions, of poor ministerial decisions and bad budget allocations, its problem of lack of foresight and planning and landowners with extreme demands.
To top it off, no one told us about this big pile of gas thats under our soil, owned by us and worth billions.
No, they didnt tell us. Because they wanted to pipe it down to Australia, remember? So the billions could be theirs, and we can get visa’s to go down and pick cherries.
The pipeline became a pipe dream cause some of the Papua New Guineans in the technical teams decided that the ministers would sell us short so they started to, in typical Papua New Guinea fashion, stonewall…(yumi PNG stonhet stret).
And what happened…..you see down there, they were expecting that big rush of gas to run their way and they already had their plans…but we didnt.
Suddenly, no pipeline to Australia, and we are going to have it all onshore.
What happens…all those who wanted to start in Australia rush here! Massive building boom, massive engineering, massive demands for power.
yes, we can bitch all we want about PNG Power…we can say they are no good…but they are feeling what we should have been planning for years ago if the politicians listened to our technocrats instead of all these so called advisors who see PNG as the great get rich quick land.
And now we are stuck with this discomfort.
In my opinion, it’s a temporary pain. It won’t kill us. It won’t kill PNG Power. If we can get through this, it will only make us stronger. It will make PNG Power better.
There are people who look at us and see this beautiful, rich country and they feel we don’t deserve it. Any chance that they get to deride us, to put us down, to call us incompetent, they will use it.
They come by the dozens every day, they fly into POM…they take our jobs, they push us out and they use any chance to say that we are not intelligent, we are lazy, we do not deserve our place in our own country.
Even now, they are at the door, pushing their plans for PNG Power to those in power, saying ‘look, your national guys are incompetent, we should partner up. Give us the opportunity to become a private monopoly, maybe some arrangement like you gave that company that supplies fuel in PNG.’
These are dangerous times for Papua New Guineans….the blackouts are the least of our problems.
Time to toughen up.