The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013
By MALUM NALU
THE government, in a bid to appease landowners protesting against it over the controversial Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) in Madang, is taking them to the Philipines to see for themselves how such projects are run.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru said approval had been granted by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for him and his acting department secretary Gerard Dogimab, to take the landowners to General Santos City.
He said this when asked what the status of PMIZ was.
“The main issue is that they (complainants) have been misled by environmentalists and greenies,” Maru told reporters.
“They were led to believe that if we start a marine park, we are not only going to overfish but also that the environment will be totally polluted.
“We want to prove to them that there is no such thing.
“We want them to look at big marine parks, like the one in the Philippines.
“They want us to take them to the Philipines to take a look at the big marine parks there.
“Once they are convinced that there will be no pollution (at PMIZ), we can proceed with construction.
“That’s the last bit to do now.
“That will be sorted out over the next two weeks.”
Maru said a major investor from France had already been secured and there must be no hold-ups to the project.
“Obviously, we have a big investor from France and we are keen on moving the project along,” he said.
French fishing company Sapmer-Piriou Joint Venture plans to spend US$500 million in a project to be based at PMIZ, which will employ about 2,500 people.
It will build a 300m-long fisheries wharf, a value-added tuna processing plant, a 400m dry dock and a shipyard.