Gulf plan to safeguard landowner interests

National, Normal

The National, Thursday August 1st, 2013

 THE Gulf provincial government is to pass its provincial content plan to safeguard the interest of its people against developers of its resources.

The provincial law will likely be passed next week, according to provincial team negotiating on behalf of the province, the landowners and the people of Gulf.

This was revealed during a meeting between the Gulf provincial government, Minister for Mining and Petroleum William Duma and the government’s negotiating team yesterday at Ela Beach Hotel.

The meeting was to reaffirm the province’s stand through the presentation of a position paper in regards to the Elk/Antelope gas fields in Baimuru district. 

It is to be developed and processed in the province as stipulated in the 2009 agreement signed between the State and the InterOil.  

Kikori MP and Minister for Labour and Industrial Relations Mark Maipakai said while the national Government had yet to draw up this very important piece of legislation, foreign developers of natural resources in PNG were dictating what type of businesses local companies, landowners and the people of PNG could be involved in. 

Maipakai said the absence of a national content plan “leaves room for developers to dictate which business is left to Papua New Guineans to be involved in while reserving big contracts for other foreign players”. 

Duma said it was crucial for the government to have such a plan. Successive governments since independence never came up with one because of the different dynamics which come into play.

Gulf Governor Havilo Kavo, MPs Maipakai and Mark Mendai (Kerema Open) and provincial administrator Marc Orisuru Ava said the province would lead the way in passing a provincial content plan that was in the best interest of its people.