The PNG government and Queensland signed an agreement recently to develop a hydropower scheme at Wabo, in the heart of Purari.
The project is being jointly developed by a joint venture company, PNGEDL, which is a tie-up between PNG Sustainable Development Program Ltd and Origin Energy of Australia.
This project should cause alarm to the people of Purari River.
The plan is to have the power generated by the Purari River to be channelled to Queensland via an undersea cable.
The power is intended to generate electricity for north Queensland, in particular.
Environmental groups in Australia are up in arms over the proposed plan, businesses in north Queensland, in particular, are wary and want to know more about this plan, while ordinary Queenslanders and Australians have queried and commented about the exploitation of poor people in the Australian newspapers.
There are many issues to be addressed, social displacements and livelihood of the people that depend on the Purari, and more importantly, the safety and environmental impact of this project.
How much more is the Purari going to bear, with the InterOil-led LNG project’s environmental plan for its stripping plant still yet to be published?
The people of Gulf must mobilise to protect their heritage and future.
I dare not imagine the environmental disaster caused by flooding the Purari.
That will wipe out the pristine Purari eco-system and its surrounding areas.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for green energy.
But a massive hydro scheme for the Purari, without due diligence could render irreparable damage to the river and surrounding area.
Simply put, the mighty Purari River as we know could be dead within a couple of years.
Fish, crabs, crocodiles, prawns, mangrove oysters, shellfish, etc, will be affected.
We must wake up and do something to protect the mighty Purari.