Reports by JULIA DAIA BORE
THE National Court ruled that the Ramu Nico Management (MCC) intended work does not contravene an interim injunction which was granted last month.
The work will include the fabrication and floating of pipes.
The interim injunction decision handed down in Madang stated: “The defendants and their associates, agents and employees and persons for whom they are jointly or severally responsible shall cease all preparatory or construction work on the Ramu nickel mine deep sea tailings placement system that involves directly or indirectly damage or disturbing the offshore environment – including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, all coral blasting or popping of dead or live coral and laying of pipes – and shall not carry out directly or indirectly any such work, pending determination of the substantive proceedings.”
MCC boss Dr George Shou returned to court to ensure the intended work would not breach the injunction.
When handing down his decision in Kimbe, Justice David Cannings said it was appropriate for a party affected by a court order to come back to the court to seek clarification of the order before engaging in conduct or undertaking an activity that may be perceived as a breach of the order.
“I am satisfied that the activity proposed to be undertaken by MCC is not such that it is reasonably likely to amount to a breach of the court order. It is, therefore, appropriate to make a declaration to that effect, such a declaration being a clarification, not a variation of the March 19 injunction.
“I will grant an order generally in the terms sought, but, for the avoidance of doubt, remind everyone if in the course of undertaking the proposed activity, MCC does any work that involves directly or indirectly damage or cause disturbance to the offshore environment, it may expose itself to a charge of contempt of court.”
Those who oppose the decision include Saidor LLG, Ward 3 councillor Eddie Tarsie, Ward 3 secretary Farina Siga, Peter Sel, Pommern Incorporated Land Group No 12591 and chairman of Pommern Incorporated Land Group No 12591 Sama Melambo.
They said the work would cause environmental damage.