Fly-in fly-out concerns backed

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday June 25th, 2013

 THE Resource Owners Federation of Papua New Guinea has supported concerns raised in Parliament over the fly-in fly-out arrangements adopted by resource developers in the country.

In a statement last Friday, Resource Owners Federation of PNG president Jonathan Paraia said the questions raised by Lagaip-Porgera MP Nixon Mangape in the last sitting of parliament must be taken seriously.

“The fly-in fly-out, or commuter-based mining development, denies rural areas that host these projects of social economic and other development benefits,” he said. 

“The federation has not yet identified any country in our region that allows foreign employees to work in their countries on a fly-in fly-out basis. 

“Instead, foreign workers are required to live in the countries of employment with their families for the duration of their employment contracts. 

“This requirement ensures the country and community in which the foreign employees work benefit from the disposable incomes of these workers,” Paraia said.

He said domestically, the fly-in fly-out practice in rural areas of some countries was an ongoing issue of contention by local residents and their local level governments because of the social and economic losses suffered by their local communities. 

“Our political leaders must explain why PNG has been an exception to the norm for the past three decades and why it should continue to be an exception.”

“The federation further observes that the Tourism Promotion Authority and its minister have a tough job trying to attract tourists to this country for the tourist dollar. 

“Yet the ministries of foreign affairs and labour and employment on the other hand, are facilitating and permitting foreign employees to work in our country on a fly-in-fly-out basis, taking all of their salaries to their home countries, as regularly as twice a month. 

“Someone high up in government should explain the logic behind this, as it is mind boggling even for persons of above-average intelligence to understand.”