Post-Courier, 11 July 2011.
HELA leaders are adamant that the PNG Boundaries Commission visit and confirm the electoral boundaries of the new province.
The leaders made the call last Friday in Port Moresby, warning that Government failure to ensure the marking of boundaries before the 2012 national elections, would deny the Hela people representation in the new Parliament.
Leader Larry Andagali warned that the Hela region was restive as the people want their own elected Governor and MPs in 2012 elections.
He warned that a failure to attend to their needs would have serious implications on the multi billion kina LNG project.
Hela is one of two new provinces. The other is Jiwaka in neighbouring Western Highlands Province where current North Waghi MP Benjamin Mul is locked in a battle with former premier Philip Kapal over the chairmanship of the transitional authority.
The EBC is expected to visit Hela at the end of this month and the Hela leaders say their people are anxious because the elections are only 11 months away.
"The Hela people want their own governor and own MPs," Mr Andagali said. "The government must weigh up the risks, let the elections go ahead without Hela and face the consequences. If the whole of Hela people say shut down the LNG, we the leaders are powerless."
Hela is the heart of the oil and gas extraction in the Southern Highlands and Mr Andagali feared that government ineptness would result in the closing down of Porgera gold mine, Moran gas fields and the massive LNG project.
Mr Andagali said they are hoping to meet with PNG Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen and Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru to iron out these issues this week. The press conference was attended by vocal leaders from the Hides PDL 1, PDL 7, PDL 8 and PDL 9, HIDES 4 and 1, Angore, Kutubu and Moran PDL 5 and 6.