Tensions rise as LNG recruitment begins

National, Normal

A COMMUNITY leader in resource rich Hela region has called on PNG LNG project developer ExxonMobil to set up a recruitment base in the region.
Hela chief Timothy Hayara, who claimed to represent more than 100,000 youths eligible for LNG project employment from the region, said it was only fair for ExxonMobil to have a recruitment base in the region and give first preference to eligible skilled potential employees from Hela.
Mr Hayara made the call in Mt Hagen last Friday, after learning that the first phase of recruitment had been completed outside the region.
He said no consideration was given to eligible skilled youths in the region.
“I get so many complaints from the youths in the region that they have been overlooked by ExxonMobil,” Mr Hayara said.
“The majority of the people of Hela wants ExxonMobil to have its office in the region to cater for employment in the project areas, instead of from outside,” he said.
Mr Hayara cautioned that if the recruitment was completed outside the project areas, there would be problems between the landowners and the resource developer.
“There is just not enough consultation in terms of recruitment of workforce for the multi-billion kina LNG project with the people of Hela.
“ExxonMobil must take heed of the resource owners’ pleas,” he said.