"We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others".

- Papua New Guinea National Goals and Directive Principles

Thursday, 29 November 2012

No One Has Taken Responsibility for Tumbi Disaster MP Claims

LNG cost on lives: MP  
Post Courier, 29 November

THE monetary cost blow out in the LNG project is smaller than the cost blow-out on the lives of the project area landowners, Koroba-Kopiago MP Philip Undialu told Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Undialu said during Question Time in his series of queries to Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma that the Department of Petroleum as the custodian of the industry had failed to honour its part of the agreement to have line agencies like Environment and Conservation, Lands and Physical Planning, Commerce and Industry on the ground but operating by remote control from Port Moresby.

“The LNG project will be a gain for the country but a huge loss for my people in terms of environment conservation and sustainability,’’ he said.

“We want to see key Government departments on the ground to ensure compliance of environment laws, land laws and other relevant laws enforced on the ground through monitoring.

“This particular project was done in a very rush manner and so much cost has been incurred. One classic example is the Tumbi landslide disaster claiming almost 26 lives and no one has taken responsibility for that tragedy.”

Mr Undialu said construction work on the project was progressing with accidents claiming lives and nobody was claiming responsibility.

“Our streams and creeks that have been green or blue in colour have turned yellow and nobody has claimed responsibility,’’ he said.

“Our forest is being cleared for roads and pipelines and nobody from relevant National Government agencies are on the ground to ensure compliance to relevant environmental laws.”

He said the current construction of the 25km road from Hides 4 to Hides 1 had now stopped resulting in a stand-off between the landowners and developer.

“There have been notices given by landowners of Angore and Juha, and this Government is thinking of selling the gas by 2013 but we have issues on the ground bombarding this industry that the country depends on,’’ Mr Undialu said.

“What is your plan in so far as landowner identification and social mapping are concern, landowner and business development?

“From the date we signed the agreement I have not seen a single officer from your department, Environment and Conservation and other key agencies on the ground because serious undertaking was given that they will monitor the impact of the environment and business participation by landowner.

“I have not seen one single officer on the ground monitoring. I would like to see serous commitment fulfilled. I want to see responsible department on sight to ensure we deliver the LNG project on time in 2013.

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