The National – Wednesday, June 15, 2011
ACTING Prime Minister Sam Abal yesterday told parliament no member or intending candidate should use the PNG LNG as a campaign agenda.
“I call on all leaders, politicians and intending candidates not to make it a political issue but to support it as the government is committed to provide the leadership,” he said.
Abal said this when answering a series of questions from Abau MP Sir Puka Temu.
Sir Puka asked if the government was going to make sure that there “is bipartisan approach of leadership provided by the government to the PNG LNG project during next year’s general election as everyone will be focused on the election and could hamper the progress of the project”.
Abal said the government was committed and “will provide the leadership to the LNG project during the election period to make sure it is on track to meet the dateline”.
“I agree that the LNG is a transformation project to this nation and I agree that the LNG has made a lot of impact and many things are running during the construction phase.
“It will continue to operate as the government is committed and will make sure leadership is provided,” he said.
He said it was important to promote and control the projects through regulation so that the project continued.
Abal said much of the umbrella benefits sharing agreement (UBSA) and the licensed-based benefits sharing agreement (LBBSA) had been included in this year’s budget.
He said the government had budgeted K1.26 billion over the next 10 years, of which K120 million was included for the UBSA and LBBSA in this year’s budget, while another K100 million was allocated for high impact projects.
He said memorandum of agreement (MoA) funds were not cash grants “but are for projects in the project areas”.