OneCountry on PNG BLOGS
I think it is most most most unfortunate that a person who has single-handedly done a lot for the Mining & Petroleum Industries of this country would be singled out and demonized in the way a lot of your readers have done on the PNG Blogs site. Those who seek to do so demonstrate very clearly that they have very little understanding of the industry, nor responsibility for the future of the industries in PNG. Greg Anderson deserves a medal and it is way way overdue.
Having said that, let me point out that what is driving Byron Chan at present is clearly the unrealized dreams of Sir Julius Chan, mingled with a certain guilt for the past mistakes Sir Julius has made.
Sir Julius’s mistakes in the past in respect of Lihir ( how that deal was structured was done under the Leadership of Sir J as PM- and he fixed the gold price- without being an expert- he fixed the nations interest at a certain gold price -and he fucked all of us up. All the gold in one of the richest Volcanic calderas dug up for the last 15 years and shipped out of here with minimum or no state equity, minimum or no taxes, very little return to the people. That is Sir Julius’ legacy.
Sir J’s other legacy is the planned mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Bougainvilleans a during with the Sandline Mercenaries.
Byron can be excused because he was just a young fellow and away overseas at school at those relevant times. However, he cannot be excused for whats been happening in recent times with Allied Gold.
Sir Julius started 5 years ago working on a plan to takeover the Allied Gold mine on Tabar Island. He used locals to cause instability on the ground and tried to frustrate the Mining company. Sir J used New Irelanders in MRA and Dept of Mines to do his bidding. Fortunately or unfortunately, he had an opposite number in Mike Carruso of Allied who is just as stupid and bloody minded. They both succeeded in creating a very unstable mine on Tabar.
Sir Julius has been looking for a way to redeem himself but he couldn’t succeed with any of the abrasive plans he mounted. The memory of his plan to mass murder is still fresh in our minds…and Bougainvilleans are unlikely to forget him. He is now through his son mounting this rear guard action to what? appease the Bougainvillean Landowners? To give more power to landowners to throw out Mike Carrusso? If you sense a degree of vindictiveness, then you could be on the ball…because what Sir J has lacked in size, he has always made up for it in vindictiveness.
However, what is in it for Byron? Nothing. He has been sitting with his father and idolizing him for too long. He needs to get away from his father so that he does not inherit his father’s legacy. He has 7 days to do this. He needs to make a policy diversion. Byron, let me as a PNGean warn you, the rest of us PNGeans who are also resource owners are not prepared to stupidly throw away the credibility and stability of this industry.
The real direction that this debate should be aimed at is the method and equation of benefit sharing under current policies- not ownership. In relation to ownership I refer readers to my article in response to Peter Donigi published on 28th April 2011. Our real issues relate to how we share benefits and how the public service machinery fails to distribute it. We also have an additional problem with politicians trying to do resources deals like Sir J with Lihir and BCL and Arthur Somare with LNG.
Ownership of resources must always remain in the realm of common ownership, under the care of the State to ensure fairness in distribution of benefits. I encourage young PNGeans not to get too excited or have premature verbal ejaculations over this issue like young Byron. Now that we understand where he is coming from, we know how to treat him.
We need serious reform on the equity distribution equation. we need to hold companies to deliver benefits to our people, not destroy our environment ( like BHP and CRA), build permanent infrastructure, and ensure our people participate meaningfully. This must happen now, not meaningless utopic idealism like ownership/or needless fear mongering without a proper responsible commercial exit plan for the 6.5 million people of this country.
I thankyou all for reading my words. May God bless you all, as he has already done by placing you in this rich and beautiful Paradise. Laikim yupela olgeta na wanbel oltaim.