While the bodies of villagers trapped under the Tumbi landslide remain buried, the Post-Courier (30/1/12) reports today that: "PNG LNG Project engineering and procurement (EPC) contractor Clough Curtain Joint Venture (CCJV) has been awarded a new work order contract for the project’s upstream infrastructure contract taking total work to $914 million (K2 billion)".
For those living near the Tumbi disaster site, the name Clough Curtain Joint Venture now sends a chill up people's spines. CCJV are the ones who developed the quarry, which more and more experts are fingering as the possible cause of this tragic landslide.
Indeed, just a day after the disaster it was reported that: "Locals blamed international contractor Clough Curtain Joint Venture (CCJV) for not developing the Tumbi quarry including proper safety procedures that resulted in the loose rocks and soil from the top of Gigira mountain range to cascade causing severe destructions on its way down" (Post-Courier, 25/1/12).
It is a testament to the hubris of ExxonMobil that they would grant this new contract, before there has been a proper investigation into the disaster. We wonder whether it was this same operational hubris, which may have provoked the disaster?
It is time for the government to come out with a firm plan. Prof Tim Sullivan has already raised concerns over the loss of evidence at the disaster site. While Dr Kristian Lasslett has offered advice on how the inquiry could be conducted. What is stopping the O'Neil government? We appreciate they are dealing with the last desperate gasps of the Somare regime; but Somare has done enough damage, do not allow him to do anymore by taking eyes off the ball on this largescale disaster.