MRA officers accused of breaking protocol

National, Normal

The National, Friday 06th January 2012

NEW Ireland governor Sir Julius Chan wants officers in the Mineral Resources Authority sacked for failing to consult his government before embarking on projects.
Sir Julius said the authority failed to consult his government on the million kina projects it had distributed to areas in Central New Ireland.
He claimed that the authority kept breaking protocol of mutual consultation and unilaterally handed out projects in the province outside the provincial plans and priorities.
“It is disrespectful and unacceptable of the MRA to behave as a government and I call on the national government to sack people who deliberately usurp the authority of my elected government to dictate projects for our
province,” he said.
He cited, as an example, the opening of a new aid post building at Natong on Anir Island. The Authority  he claimed did  not seek clearance from the health department on staffing and operational funding.
“New Ireland people rightfully deserve their fair share of benefits and cash grants from the Lihir gold mine in arrears for over 15 years and the previous NA government in NIP and Waigani, including MRA have failed to remedy the long-running issue,’’ he said.
Sir Julius added that it was outrageous and sickening.
“There is only one elected government in New Ireland led by me as Governor and no one, including MRA and Newcrest, can overrun the government through bureaucratic machinery,’’ he said.
Sir Julius said the MRA had been funding many projects in Central New Ireland which is where managing director Kepas Wali came from.