Local wants govt cooperation on mining matters

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012

A TRIBAL leader wants the government to work with local villagers when negotiating mining permits and other business on tribal land.
A spokesman for the people of Kaiwa in the Huon district of Morobe, Michael Waimba, said in Lae yesterday that landowners agreed with Mining Minister Byron Chan’s pre-election stance about landowners deriving more benefits from businesses operating on tribal land.
The Kaiwa people are part of the Iwal Kaiwa Indigenous land group made up of 10 villages in the Wau rural and Huon Gulf local level government areas.
Waimba said Chan should push the matter.
“Landowners must be included in the consultancy processes before, during and after projects are carried out on their land so that they don’t feel aggrieved and unnecessarily hinder progress,” he said.
Meanwhile, Waimba has criticised the Japanese government for allowing its people to collect bones of Japanese who fought in the war in Salamaua and parts of  Morobe.
“The least they can do is consult with the local people so we know what is happening and thank us too because it was our war too,” he said.
“While we appreciate and respect the fact that they need to return the remains of their soldiers home for a decent burial, this is our land and they are trespassing into our neighbourhood without our knowledge,” the community leader said.