Benefits from projects will take time, says consultant

National, Normal

The National, Thursday August 1st, 2013


A CANADIAN resource consultant says Papua New Guineans should not expect to reap the benefits of major developments such as the PNG LNG project immediately.

Tony Morley, who is a well-known resource photographer and journalist in Canada and Australia, said this after visiting the project sites in Hela and Central.

“On the Papua New Guinean side of things, it’s really important that the people realise that change doesn’t come overnight,” he said.

“It takes a lot of time.

“Many other countries have gone through this short of resource changes.

“It won’t take weeks, a month, or years, it takes decades for a country to move up the scale and become economically independent.

“It’s really important for Papua New Guineans to remember that changes that will come from mineral exploration, that will come from the LNG project, won’t come this week and it won’t come this year.

“It will be for our children, the children of Papua New Guinea, in the future, 10 years or 20 years down the track.

“Hopefully, that’s when we will see really big developments.

“Of course, we’re looking for benefits and we’re looking for continued growth now, but they will be smaller.

“As time progresses, it will be more and more noticeable.”

Morley said it was important for resource companies and people to be fair to each other.

“The mining companies and oil and gas companies have to be fair to the people,” he said.

“And they have to be fair to the environment, and protect both of them.

“The people, in time, have to realise that companies are here obviously because they want to make a profit – that’s part of doing business anywhere in the world.”