The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
PARTIES to the Simberi Mining project memorandum of agreement (MoA) have agreed to include a revised agreement clause that will enable the setting up of a Special Purpose Authority (SPA) for the Tabar Group of Islands.
The parties to the MoA are the State, New Ireland provincial government (NIPG), Sentral Niu Ailan LLG (SNALLG), Simberi Mining Area Association (SMAA) representing the landowners and the operator of Simberi Mine – Simberi Gold Company Pty Ltd.
The agreement to establish the SPA was reached last Friday at the end of the MoA review meeting held throughout the week in Kavieng.
The SNALLG is the LLG on which Simberi island that hosts the Simberi Mine comes under.
The purpose of the SPA would be to implement community infrastructure projects and socio-economic development programmes that have been identified under the revised Simberi MoA, especially for the benefit of the Tabar Group of Islands.
Funding for these projects woulc come from the SSG and other funding sources.
At present these funds are channelled through the NIPG but there are concerns that these funds are not reaching the SNALLG, hence the proposal to establish the SPA within the SNALLG.
To progress this deal, the SNALLG will discuss this agenda in its assembly meeting to push the assembly to approve the setting up of the SPA.
When approved, a committee comprising representatives of SNALLG, Simberi Mining Area Association (SMAA) and NIPG would be set up to oversee the creation of the SPA.
The SNALLG Manager Tilpis Apisai the SPA would be a vehicle to drive and implement development and infrastructure projects in the LLG.
The Mineral Resources Authority’s Acting Executive Manager for Development Coordination Sean Ngansia said the final form and structure of the SPA would be a matter for further discussions between the SNLLG and relevant State Agencies including the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government.
He said that such a special purpose authority was needed to address the capacity constraints faced by SNALLG in managing SSG funds and other development grants to implement community and infrastructure projects within the Central New Ireland area and the Tabar Group of Islands.