Will we benefit from the windfall?

Letters, Normal

The National, Monday, May 9, 2011

PAPUA New Guineans are being exploited by Australians and other foreign countries.
We are treated as cheap labour and are forced to look on as bystanders as Australian mining companies mine our natural resources.
Due to the lack of vision and poli­tical will of our leaders, many fo­reigners are taking advantage of our lack of enforcement.
Our oil, natural gas and gold will continue to be exploited by others.
PNG will continue to be a dumping ground for lamb flaps, used cars, poor quality food stuff and others.
If current trends were to continue, our personal per capita income is unlikely to see a sharp rise because our minerals will continue to be extracted by foreigners
Our politicians, many with university degrees, are not schooled in philosophies of life, prosperity and finer points of life and, therefore, have never been able to provide good leadership for our country.
So instead of determining our growth, they are schooled, cajoled and manipulated in the art of keeping our people poor.
Many of our leaders are no longer thinking of the people they represent but themselves and their cronies.
We are heading into an era where investments are mainly on non-renewable resource sector.
There is no proper awareness and consultation and the local resource owners are ill-informed, leaving resource owners in the dark as to what is happening on their land.
They are just spectators on their own land.
These projects include the two LNG projects by ExxonMobil and InterOil, Ramu nickel, Wau-Bulolo mine, Nautilus project off the coast New Ireland, Frieda River gold mine, Kutubu oil, Ok Tedi, Porgera, Lihir and the possible revival of Panguna mine.
Whose interest is the government looking after – our people or foreigners?
Who is going to benefit from the windfall from these investments?
Are we going to see physical changes?
Are we going to use the wealth from these investments to improve our living standard?
Will the government subside certain essential items to make the cost of li­ving affordable to everyone?
Or will our selfish leaders continue to build their empires in Queensland?
Papua New Guineans must speak out before it is too late.
This is our land and we have to speak for the rights of our people, our children and our future.

Warke Isaac
Mt Hagen