PNG is mourning the sad passing of local business leader Sir Michael Curtain KBE.

PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, travelled to Townsville and North Queensland to join with more than a thousand mourners at Sir Michael’s funeral of in late September.

The Prime Minister said Sir Michael, one of the founders of leading PNG company Curtain Brothers, was a true infrastructure legend.

“It is with sadness that we come together to mourn the loss of a true infrastructure pioneer,” the Prime Minister said.

“Many of our people looked up to him as a great business leader.

“The number of people who have travelled from Papua New Guinea to be here today is an indication of the respect carried by Sir Mick.

“A man of vision, he could look at a landscape and see how it would be transformed by infrastructure.

“He was not a man to boast or to brag, but with a few words he would get on with the job.

“During our five years in Government, Curtain Brothers has been an important partner in our infrastructure delivery.”

The Prime Minister highlighted the contribution Sir Michael had made to development and strengthening skills around the country.

“Sir Mick gave thousands of people jobs and developed their skills, and helped millions to have better lives through improved roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

“Now, after his passing his work can be seen every day around us in the infrastructure he built and this will remain for hundreds of years.

“Not many people can pass from this world and leave so many monuments to their life’s work.

“Sir Michael’s commitment and work for our country will not be forgotten.”

The PM said Sir Michael had worked in Papua New Guinea for a half century and been responsible for many of the infrastructure projects that were undertaken in that time.

“Sir Mick is likely to be best remembered for the significant contribution Curtain Bros made to the construction phase of the nation’s first LNG project, and even more recently the Motukea Island Port project.

“He also deserves thanks, and credit, for investing in the Papua New Guinea construction sector when other Australian construction companies withdrew from Papua New Guinea in the 1980’s.

“Sir Mick returned to Papua New Guinea initially to undertake uncompleted road projects in the Oro Province, and he rapidly developed Curtain Brothers into a major force in the nation’s construction sector, a position it continues to hold today.”

“When others departed, when conditions were tough, he returned, invested, and showed his confidence in our future – confidence which the passage of time has more than justified.

“Curtain Brothers has long been a major participant in the Townsville and North Queensland construction sectors, and an important business link between North Queensland and Papua New Guinea.

“Papua New Guinea thanks Sir Michael Curtain for his commitment to the development of our nation.”