Council blames loggers for damage

Islands, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 11th, 2014

 LOGGING companies in New Ireland have been blamed for the damage to roads, bridges and rivers by the provincial executive council.

Council infrastructure chairman James Pandi has extended the blame to the National Forest Authority for allowing new logging operations in the province after a moratorium was put in place.

Pandi said the provincial government had been spending a lot of money repairing roads and bridges.

He said the river at Kapsipau, the Nubui bridge and the illegal logging roads in the mountains had changed the river system in Konoagil.  

“The Namatanai people are being exploited by these logging operations with lack of respect for our forests and land and damaging our roads and bridges,” he said.

“We are fed up with companies which take millions of kina out of the province but leave nothing behind except damaged rivers and land, damaged roads and bridges and social problems.”

The provincial administration will work with the NFA to investigate the logging companies and impose tougher penalties on their operations. 

“We have put a complete moratorium on new logging activities in the province and any illegal logging operations will face the full force of law,” Pandi said.

“Any damage caused by any company will be repaired at the company’s expense. 

“I would like to know where these foreigners popping up in Konoagil and Namatanai came from and how they all got here.”