Council president welcomes NEC decisions

National, Normal

The National- Friday, January 28, 2011

 A SOUTHERN Highlands leader from the Hela region has commended the national government and national executive council on identifying a committee and minister to handle all landowner issues relating to the liquefied natural gas project.

Komo local level government president Thomas Potape, who is in Mendi for the provincial budget executive meeting, said the direction by NEC for the national planning committee, under Deputy Prime Minister Sam Abal, to deal with LNG landowners was welcome news.

“The people of Komo will now look forward to progress the LNG project,” he said.

Potape also welcomed Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare’s announcements for all ministerial commitments, made at the Kokopo UBSA and LBBSA negotiation forums in East New Britain, remaining business development grants and memorandum of understanding funds to be settled immediately.

These directives were issued by the prime minister after yesterday’s special NEC meeting.

However, it was understood that all payments would now be made at the project sites, and not Port Moresby.

Potape said with these assurances, his people would allow work to continue non-stop.

He assured developers ExxonMobil and Esso Highlands that there would be no further disruptions as long as the people are paid.

He said the landowners, like the state and developer, were committed to the LNG shipment schedule of 2014.

“We will work with the deputy prime minister and his planning committee to progress the LNG project.”

Potape also assured the developers of the safety and security of their project personnel and workers.