PORT MORESBY, (POST COURIER) — The new Rita Lynn multipurpose hall is in doubt to be completed in time for the Pacific Games.
Papua New Guinea Minister for Sports and National Events, Justin Tkatchenko while saying the rest of the venues especially at the Bisini sporting vicinity were set to be completed before the opening ceremony, procurements of materials from overseas suppliers has hampered the construction of the new Rita Flynn building.
“I can’t say anything on it (Rita Flynn hall) now but by end of June I will be in a better position to say whether it will be ready or not.”Tkatchenko said.
The Netball competition for the Pacific Games however will be played at two venues, that is the Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium and the Taurama Aquatic centre – pending the outcome by the end of June.
“The Rita Flynn will be used as a practice or training venue for teams but it won’t be for competition. I can’t really say if it will be ready or not. I will say it is under a question mark and will have a better answer by June.”
The Minister said for the other venues at Bisini including Soccer, Softball, Rugby Sevens, Cricket, AFL and Lawn Bowls were all on target with change rooms, toilets, fencing, roads and irrigation already constructed.
The Minister further stated while at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium site that the Konedobu venue, will host four events, soccer, triathlon, the Trukai fun run and the closing ceremony.
“I want to make it clear that the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium will host the following, the Pacific Games closing ceremony, the night soccer matches and the end of the Trukai Fun Run, and the end of the Triathlon event.” the Minister clarified.
Curtain Brothers Project Manager Tony King added, that work will be still carried out at the site during the four events as it was still in its first stage of completion, with the end stage to see the stadium capacity at 20,000.
“The northern stand (opposite the Kone oval) and the eastern stand (opposite IPA Haus) are already completed while the southern stand will be completed by May.
Work will begin on the western stands (opposite Yacht club) this month where the main grand stand will be.
The northern and southern stand will have a seating capacity of 4,700 while the eastern stands will have 6,777,” King said.
The western stand will have a main platform for performances in front while conjoined behind it will be a six level complex housing administration offices, weightlifting, corporate boxes and underground parking.
Restaurants will be installed near walkways under the northern stands, with courtyards outside for eating while car parks will be at the opposite Kone oval.
The Sir Hubert Murray Stadium is built at a cost of K120 million (US$44.8 million) with K60 million (US$22.4 million) paid by the PNG Government while the other half is funded by Curtain Brothers. The Minister maintained that the venue is government property when it was compulsorily acquired two years ago.
But failure of the government to maintain state properties over the years especially after the 1991 South Pacific Games, has seen the current government entering into what the Minister described as a Public Private Partnership which sees private companies like Curtain Brothers managing the site for the next 30 years in a bid to make sure that such properties are well kept and not left into disuse.
The Bisini sporting area on the other hand is funded at a cost of K50 million (US$18.6 million) and is contracted to the Associated Builders Construction Limited.