Western Province (Papua New Guinea)

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Western Province
Fly River Province
Trans Fly Bensbach 2007.jpg
Flag of Western Province
Flag
Western Province in Papua New Guinea
Western Province in Papua New Guinea
Coordinates: 7°20′S 142°0′E / 7.333°S 142.000°E / -7.333; 142.000
Country Papua New Guinea
Capital Daru
Districts
Government
 • Governor Roy Biyama (since 2017)
Area
 • Total 98,189 km2 (37,911 sq mi)
Population (2011 census)
 • Total 201,351
 • Density 2.1/km2 (5.3/sq mi)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)

Western Province is a coastal province in southwestern Papua New Guinea, bordering the Indonesian province of Papua. The provincial capital is Daru. The largest town in the province is Tabubil. Other major settlements are Kiunga, Ningerum, Olsobip and Balimo.

The provincial government has, as with the governments of North Solomons, Chimbu and Northern provinces, sought to change the name of the province. The government uses the name Fly River Provincial Government; however, this remains unofficial as it has not been changed in the Constitution of Papua New Guinea.

Geography and ecology[edit]

Western Province covers 99,300 km² and is the largest province in Papua New Guinea by area.[1][2] There are several large rivers that run through the province, including the Fly River and its tributaries the Strickland and Ok Tedi rivers. The largest lake in Papua New Guinea, Lake Murray, is also in Western Province.[3]

This province is the only part of Papua New Guinea to hold land west of the 141°E line, which divides it from Indonesian Western New Guinea. This is a small section of territory bordered by the Fly River.[4]

The Tonda Wildlife Management Area in the south-western corner of the province is a wetland of international importance.[5] It is the largest protected area in Papua New Guinea.[6]

Demographics[edit]

There were 201,351 inhabitants in Western Province in the 2011 census, residing in 31,322 households. Of these, 79,349 people were recorded in Middle Fly District, 62,850 in North Fly District and 59,152 in South Fly District. The average household size across the province was 6.4.[7]

Economy[edit]

The Ok Tedi Mine

The major economic activity in the province is constituted by the Ok Tedi Mine, initially established by BHP and the subject of considerable litigation by traditional landowners both in respect of environmental degradation and disputes over royalties. It is currently operated by Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML).[8]

Districts and LLGs[edit]

District map of Western Province

There are three districts in the province. Each district has one or more Local Level Government (LLG) areas. For census purposes, the LLG areas are subdivided into wards and those into census units.[9]

District District Capital LLG Name
North Fly District Kiunga Kiunga Rural
Kiunga Urban
Ningerum Rural
Olsobip Rural
Star Mountains Rural
Middle Fly District Balimo Balimo Urban
Bamu Rural
Gogodala Rural
Lake Murray Rural
Nomad Rural
South Fly District Daru Daru Urban
Kiwai Rural
Morehead Rural
Oriomo-Bituri Rural

Provincial leaders[edit]

The province was governed by a decentralised provincial administration, headed by a Premier, from 1977 to 1995. Following reforms taking effect that year, the national government reassumed some powers, and the role of Premier was replaced by a position of Governor, to be held by the winner of the province-wide seat in the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea.[10][11]

Premiers (1977–1995)[edit]

Premier Term
Tatie Olewale 1977–1983
Semai Aitowai 1983–1985
provincial government suspended 1985–1988
Norbert Makmop 1988–1991
Isidore Kaseng 1992–1995

Governors (1995–present)[edit]

Premier Term
Dere Wamaro 1995–1997
Norbert Makmop 1997–2002
Bob Danaya 2002–2012
Ati Wobiro 2012–2017
Roy Biyama 2017–present

Members of the National Parliament[edit]

The province and each district is represented by a Member of the National Parliament. There is one provincial electorate and each district is an open electorate.

Three of the four seats in Western Province are currently vacant, as Ati Wobiro (Western Provincial) was convicted of misappropriation in July 2016 and jailed, Boka Kondra (North Fly) was found guilty of misappropriation and dismissed from office in December 2016, and Aide Ganasi (South Fly) died in November 2016. As the sole remaining national MP in Western Province, Roy Biyama (Middle Fly) was sworn in as Governor in February 2017 to serve until the 2017 national election.[12]

Premier Term
Western Provincial vacant
North Fly Open vacant
Middle Fly Open Roy Biyama
South Fly Open vacant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Papua New Guinea 2000 Census: Western. National Statistical Office. p. 7. 
  2. ^ Strategic Directions for Human Development in Papua New Guinea. Australian Agency for International Development. 2007. p. 180. 
  3. ^ "Western". Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Frank Jacobs (March 13, 2012). "Who Bit My Border?". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Ramsar report for Tonda Wildlife Management Area Archived September 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 28 June 2010
  6. ^ UNESCO: Trans-Fly Complex, retrieved 28 June 2010
  7. ^ "Final Figures Booklet". National Population & Housing Census 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Social Impact of the Ok Tedi Mine on the Yonggom Villages of the North Fly, 1992" (PDF). Ok-Fly Social Monitoring Project Report No. 5. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  9. ^ National Statistical Office of Papua New Guinea
  10. ^ May, R. J. "8. Decentralisation: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back". State and society in Papua New Guinea: the first twenty-five years. Australian National University. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Provinces". rulers.org. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Only MP in Western Province elected Governor". Loop PNG. 15 February 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.