BSA forum funds a concern

National, Normal

TRANSPARENCY International has raised concerns about the K60 million plans to conduct Licensed-Based Benefits Sharing Agreement  (LBBSA) forums with LNG project landowners.
TIPNG  raised this issue yesterday given that so much money had already been spent and promised as a result of BSA consultations so far.
“Before any more so called public consultations take place, TIPNG is calling on the Government to make available its report of the first BSA  so the public, not just a select few bureaucrats and landowner groups in the project areas can be informed of the current agreements,” TIPNG said in a statement.
TIPNG said the Government should publicly disclose all outcomes of the Kokopo BSA forum, what reports were submitted to Parliament and stakeholders, and the funds  promised to different landowner groups for what projects.
“All  information must be made public before proceeding to the next step, so that PNG’s people can be assured the continued consultation processes will not be an ongoing and limitless drain on public money.”
TIPNG chairman Peter Aitsi said that open and public opposition by landowner groups from project areas was evident.
“They have gained National Court orders to prevent the LBBSA forums starting, which seems to illustrate that something is very wrong somewhere and needs to be fixed in an appropriate manner by the Government’s line agency the Department of Petroleum and Energy.”
He said appropriate solutions also involve planning and accountability and, therefore, TIPNG asked where the K60 million was coming from to fund theLBBSA forums for the PNG LNG project.
Mr Aitsi said the current process being used by the Government through the Department of Petroleum and Energy is not a path to national prosperity, but simply short-term politics playing on greed rather than a serious attempt to make sure PNG’s development progresses and people nationwide benefit.