Statement by Bryan Kramer:
This morning I moved an urgent application seeking a stay (stop order) against NICTA from deactivating some 1.4 million mobile users throughout the country who have yet to register their SIM Cards. The application sought an interim stay and 14 days to commence formal proceedings.
After considering the arguments raised and the issue of short service on NICTA, the Court granted by consent interim orders that NICTA is prevented from deactivating any unregistered SIM cards following 30th April 2018 deadline – which ends today at midnight.
I have been given 14 days to commence and file formal proceedings and serve on NICTA as well as the State.
The decision to file an application at the eleventh hour before the deadline followed my discussion with Dr. Jimmy Aipit on Saturday in Madang.
Dr Aipit has been a Pediatrician for Madang General Hospital for the past 12 years – a Pediatrician is a Medical Doctor who specializes in the development, care, and diseases of babies and children.
Dr Aipit raised concerns with relation to the 600 health officers he communicates with on a regular basis providing life saving medical advice for patients in the remote and rural parts of my Province.
I also shared the same concerns as the majority of my constituents reside in remote and rural parts of my district. They contact me from time to time via mobile telephone to assist at times of emergencies.
Over the years I have I have been contacted directly to assist in maternal emergencies.
Following the discussion with Dr Aipit I jumped on a plane the same day to fly to Port Moresby to file an urgent application to obtain a stay against NICTA.
My application was filed and heard yesterday (Sunday) exparte (without serving the other party). With the deadline on Monday, the Administration Judge on duty refused to hear the application and ordered I serve on NICTA and State and matter be adjourned to 10:30 this morning.
Today I explained to the Court that I have grave concerns with the looming deadline and the impact of deactivating unregistered SIMs may result in loss of life and well-being of my constituents in my district as well throughout the country.
Following the Courts decision to grant interim stay, 1.4 million people throughout PNG who have yet to register their SIM cards can be rest assured it won’t be deactivated – at least for the next 14 days and/or until the matter is determined by the Court.
I am not challenging NICTA’s right to impose SIM registration, I am however challenging the manner in which it is imposing on 87% of our population who reside in remote and rural parts of our country and the effect it would have on their daily lives.