Provinces start talks on autonomy

National

Discussions between New Ireland and East New Britain to jointly fight for autonomy has begun.
This was made known during discussions spearheaded by New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan in Kokopo.
The meeting also included dialogue on benefit sharing from the Solwara One seabed mining project in the Bismarck Sea.
Sir Julius, in a statement, said New Ireland and East New Britain people were related in many aspects and had common values that were captured in discussions on autonomy several years ago when ENB led the move for autonomy.
He told ENB Governor Nakikus Konga that his government was advanced with its submission to the Government for provincial autonomy, and was looking forward to move ahead in partnership with ENB, to achieve the common goal of self-reliance.
He maintained that the Solwara One project was exclusively in New Ireland waters, however, his government has considered the prospect of a formula to share the wealth of his people with their close neighbour.
Both leaders have agreed to have immediate discussions, starting at a committee level, through their administration executives that will produce a position paper on autonomy for presentation to the Government soon.

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