Stop believing gossip, says PM


MEMBERS of Parliament have been told by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to stop believing in speculation and gossip because it is dangerous.
Responding to Moresby North-West MP Sir Mekere Morauta, O’Neill said: “There is no mortgaging whatsoever of any of the shares that we hold in the LNG project including the ones held by the State and the ones earmarked for the landowners, so there is no truth in what the member for Moresby North-West is saying.”
O’Neill said the 4.27 shares would be transferred to the landowners after careful assessment the clan-vetting process taking place.
“We are not going to go around giving shares to anybody processing to be representing the landowners,” he said.
“When we discussed these issues during the election process, there were suggestions that we will be giving some of the shares free to the landowners and that is by way of heavily discounting it from the
prices that were set in the UBSA agreement.
O’Neill said it would be difficult for landowwner groups to raise the money for their shares.
“Those were prices agreed to by the government at that time. It was to the ignorance of the landowners.
“They were not given a fair deal that they truly deserved. A lot of other issues come into play when we discuss these issues which include some of the ministerial commitments that were made by the then government that led to commitments into hundreds of millions of kina.
“The demands some of the landowners are doing are outside the agreements we have signed with them.”