The National, Friday October 11th, 2013
A PRIME minister’s spokesman says it is true that proceeds from Ok Tedi mine do flow to the consolidated revenue of the government.
“And it is used with tax and other forms of revenue to fund recurrent expenditures like salaries and wages, medical drugs and fund development projects in the country,” he said.
“The Treasury Department has a record of these expenditures,” he said.
“The Department of National Planning and Rural Development has a record of development projects funded in the budget.
“While the National Government has to spread its resources thinly throughout the entire country, the PNG Sustainable Development Program does not have to do that,” the spokesman said.
“Its main focus is Western province.
“It was set up to repay the people there for the massive damage done to their environment and their way of life.
“If the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program spent K5 billion since 2002 then there is nothing to show for it.
“This is why the Members of Parliament from the province approached prime minister for a change, to ensure the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program became accountable for the huge wealth at its disposal.
“Sir Mekere cannot be boasting about Daru Port, Purari Dam feasibility or Cloudy Bay Timber.
“These are projects where millions of kina have been wasted, with no impact on the lives of the people of Western province.
“No one can sit back and allow this kind of wastage to continue while the mine people suffer.
“Further, Sir Mekere’s admittance on FM100 Talkback that the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program was set up as an offshore company in Singapore because the Papua New Guinea Government could not be trusted, demonstrates Sir Mekere’s lack of trust for his own government and people.
“Sir Mekere has very dim views of the Papua New Guinea Government, its leaders and its people yet he conveniently claims to represent the people of Western province where he sits right now. This hipocracy should end.”