The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011
By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE national government and developers of the controversial Pacific Marine Industrial Zone (PMIZ) have failed to address many outstanding issues before proceeding with the project, Madang Governor James Gau said.
He said although he supported the PMIZ as a major investment and revenue generation initiative for the province, he did not agree with the manner in which the project was “bulldozed by the state”.
Gau claimed the state had failed to involve the provincial government, other stakeholders and landowners in all the consultative processes.
He said the national government had also failed to carry out education and awareness programmes, outlining all benefits and impacts, before kicking off the project.
“How can the second tier of government and customary custodians of the land be left out of the entire project?” he asked.
“This is not right. The provincial government and the people should be involved in all consultative processes.
“Important information has not been disseminated to the people. The people are still confused,” he added.
Gau voiced concern over the state’s failure to provide environmental impact study reports.
He said the environmental study report was important for “all parties concerned to be informed of how well the environment will be protected and how industrial wastes will be controlled”.
He said operations of RD Tuna were already emitting a foul smell that hung over the area.
He said work should proceed as planned but many important issues had not been followed and “that is the concern for the provincial government and the people of Madang”.
“If the government is concerned, it should carry out more education and awareness and the dissemination of any information should be clear and precise.
“It needs to involve the provincial government and landowners in any consultative processes and, finally, make the environmental impact plan available,” Gau said.