The Nationl, Monday 10th September, 2012
MINE-impacted communities along the Watut River in Morobe do not like the idea of Petromin paying for state participation in the Wafi-Golpu project.Union of Watut River Communities president Reuben Mete says Petromin, as the state’s nominee to participate in Wafi-Golpu, “is a slap to the face of the impacted communities”. He said the state would have compromised its roles as the regulator of the environment and mining when it was in business with mining companies.“This has become a norm in this nation and we, the small people, are fed up with this type of hypocrisies while development is forced down our throats,” Mete said. “We already have 10 large mines in this nation, and yet, there is no impact of mining boom on the lives of ordinary Papua New Guineans. “The social environmental indicators of development in this nation tell a contradicting story while mining companies talk about sustainability given the non-renewable resource and its benefits to PNG.” Mete said the intelligence of the people should not be insulted “as the government still lacks capacity to regulate this industry given the background of numerous unresolved issues over other mines”. “Let the regulator be the middle man rather than being a referee and a player at the same time,” he said, “Petromin has a poor record with regards to social and environmental issues in the Tolokuma gold mine in Goilala, hence, they should not be allowed into Wafi-Golpu.”
“The people should rise up, stop the project and demand Petromin off.
“The South African Harmony Gold and Newcrest of Australia also polluted Watut River with sediments and toxins from the Hidden Valley mine, and yet, the government regulatory arms are doing nothing about it.”