Last week Australian born hotelier and former PNG government Minister, Peter Barter, published a two-part defence of the Chinese owned Ramu nickel mine in the newspapers. A group of PNG landowners have written this response:
Peter’s Profits At Risk!
If Peter Barter’s greedy, self-serving behavior wasn’t so transparent and pitiful it would border on hilarious.
Barter, an Australian born expat, is clearly listening to only those whose interests he serves and profits from – Highlands Pacific, MCC and the National Alliance under Michael Somare.
In a hilarious attempt to sound noble, balanced and caring the Aussie expat went to the daily newspapers with his take on the situation in Madang. Barter was taking misinformation from Highlands Pacific and MCC and trying to cobble it together to sound like an authoritative voice in the ongoing struggle of the people of the Rai Coast to stop the dumping of 100 million tonnes of waste in their sea.
How bad was it? Well PNG blog and websites were filled with Papua New Guineans, both living in PNG, and working/living overseas. OVER 1,200 responses came in seeing the Barter ‘pitch’ for what it was. Sorry Pete – you didn’t score so well. Actually his attempted backfired. Even more support has been gathered for the Rai Coast people and Peter has managed to energise them even more.
On top of that, word is the four plaintiffs in the court case had their lawyer write Barter saying they thought he was in contempt of court for trying to influence their case. Sensing the seriousness of the situation and facing a criminal charge the Australian born Barter went into high gear trying to right his wrongs.
Firstly radio show Tok Bek host Roger Hau’ofa, obviously reading from Barter’s script came out in support of the Ramu nickel mine. He did not admit it but the info he was spouting was right out of Barter’s misinformation. Also Hau’ofa did not get much support for his stand. Only one caller even remotely supported Hau’ofa and one caller accussed Hau’ofa of taking his pro Ramu Nickel stand because the Barter hotel was a sponsor of the show.
Then true to the ex-pat Barter’s mode of doing things he got on the radio telling people how much he did for Madang. Then he had himself put on the front page of the Post Courier “saving” some poor fellow in Saidor who was severely cut. This is typical Barter – trying to play the hero as he has tried to do in the past. What is well known is how much Barter charges the government for such “missions of mercy.”
Lastly, in the National newspaper he had his articles finish with his name saying he was a “now concerned citizen” (how about before now Peter?) and philanthropist. Poor Peter.
The fact is Mr. Barter was, as noted, earlier pushing the information put out by Highlands Pacific and MCC. Both employees and directors from these companies stay AT MUCH EXPENSE in his hotel. He now has a seven day Chinese menu to suit MCC (by the way the food isn’t too good). It is clear he makes a substantial amount of money from these two companies and THAT WAS HIS MOTIVE for writing the two part article about the Ramu Nickel Mine. Mr. Barter failed to mention his personal financial interest in the matter even though he has a CLEAR FINANCIAL MOTIVE in making statements to please his clients. There’s a name for people like that we believe.
To end, we are told Mr. Barter is getting people ready to hold a demonstration. That’s right you read it correctly. No doubt to try to counter the legitimate demonstration landowners held against the new Environmental Act. We have one word of caution to the Aussie ex-pat, as we note some of the people he is involved with (supplied by guess who?) are the same ones who MCC used to try to intimidate the lawyers and plaintiffs at the Madang Court House recently. Don’t make the same embarrassing mistakes Madam Luo and MCC made Peter – please have your “demonstrators” show up sober.
PS Aussie-born expat Peter Barter – we hope you got our point about complaining about outsiders!!!!!!