Sir Julius: I have nothing to hide

National

New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan says he has nothing to hide from the people of the province over how mining royalties were spent over the last 10 years.
He said this yesterday after Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt called on him to tell the people how approximately K168 million had been used for Namatanai and Kavieng districts for the past ten years.
Sir Julius said Schnaubelt, being a first-time MP, should familiarise himself with the New Ireland budget process rather than making unfounded allegations.
Schnaubelt said that under the current Lihir Mining memorandum of agreement, 50 per cent had been declared for New Ireland with a further distribution of 20 per cent to Kavieng district, 20 per cent to Namatanai and 10 per cent to the provincial government.
“But the provincial government had held on to the entire 50 per cent without releasing the 20 per cent components for the two districts,” he claimed.
“Apart from the mining royalties, the Lihir Newcrest was also committed to the two districts with its tax credit scheme.”
Sir Julius said Schnaubelt was “totally ignorant” of the New Ireland budget process.
“He (Schnaubelt) has not been an MP for the last 10 years,” he said.
“He should read the budget for the last 10 years.”
Sir Julius said the 50 per cent from Lihir was split between Nimamar local level government, Lihir Landowners’ Association and the provincial government.
He said there was no allocation for Kavieng and Namatanai which showed Schnaubelt’s lack of knowledge.

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