Momis: B’ville yet to prove itself

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday 23rd April 2013


BOUGAINVILLE is yet to show it can generate its own revenue before becoming independent, president John Momis says.

He said Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) was nowhere near the target it must reach before it could think of independence.

Momis told a two-day forum on the future of the Panguna Mine in Buin, South Bougainville, that ABG could only raise K6 million annually.

This mean that if AUSAID and other funding sources including the national government stopped their assistance tomorrow, Bougainville will not be able to survive.

Momis said it was why the ABG wanted the Panguna mine to re-open to generate some revenue for the Bougainville government.

He said the ABG was working with landowners to fast-track the re-opening of the Panguna mine. And before it can go ahead, it will continue to consult stakeholders through the regional forum.

He said the ABG, landowners and stakeholders must  negotiate a better deal this time round.

He also said any mining on Bougainville would have to be negotiated under the new law on mining.

 He said the draft legislation was being released for people to comment on.

The ABG hopes to pass the law in the June session of the ABG Parliament.

The forum on the Panguna mine ends today.