By Angeline Karius
MADANG Governor James Gau is confident after holding talks with Chinese developer MCC on Tuesday that a compromise between landowners could see the commissioning of the Ramu mine project, reports The National.
A provincial government team, including the provincial administrator, mine’s director and deputy governor, was present for the meeting.
This comes after landowners involved in the multi-million kina Ramu nickel project threatened to stop the commissioning of the project if the government did not honour its previous commitment of K20 million establishment grant to the four landowner groups and K10 million to fix the Raicoast roads. [So the tax payers of PNG are going to pay K30 million kina so the Chinese can run off with our resources…. this is MADNESS!]
Gau said although the issue was raised in the last caucus meeting, the government had failed to include the previous government’s commitment to the supplementary budget passed recently. [Shouldn’t it be the Chinese paying the landowners – not PNG tax payers!]
He said the main issue had been that local landowners wanted maximum meaningful participation in the mine. Gau said contract rates offered by the government were much higher compared to the Chinese. [Becuase the Chinese are ripping everyone off – landowners, government and tax payers…]
He said he would be meeting with minister for finance and treasury to find money in government savings to facilitate the K20 million not included in the recent supplementary budget. [Hopefully common sense will prevail and NEC will say NO!]
Coastal Pipeline Landowners Association chairman Charles Okori told NBC Madang that the people were frustrated and would not allow the commissioning of the project if the government did not honour the two commitments.
Kurumbukari Landowners Association chairman David Tigavu called on the developer to improve the value of contracts for the landowner companies. He said failure to comply by both parties could mean the delay of the project commissioning.
Okori said the Ramu nickel project was just as important as the multi-billion kina LNG project in Southern Highlands and must be given the same recognition.
“Ramu will be an important and equal partner in the national economy, however, it has been overlooked by the government and has not been given same prominence as other projects in the country,” he said. [Equal partner? Bullshit! What about their 15 year tax emption and other ‘sweetners’ given away by Somare et al?]