Australian broadcaster, the ABC, has updated a story on the Ok Tedi mine they first published on June 6th [see below] with an admission that their source, Martyn Namorong, was not just an independent writer and blogger as they originally claimed, but is in fact an employee of Ok Tedi’s biggest shareholder, the PNG Sustainable Development Fund.
The ABC has not though apologized for misleading the public or issued any separate statement correcting the record. So anyone misled by their original story will be none the wiser as they would have to re-read the original article to find the ABC’s correction.
Further evidence the ABC sits firmly in the camp of the Australian mining industry?
Concerns PNG locals won’t get fair share from Ok Tedi takeover
Updated 10 July 2013, 12:34 AEST
There are concerns Papua New Guineans may not get their fair share from the government takeover of the Ok Tedi mine.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has vowed to take over the Ok Tedi mine by assuming control of the PNG Sustainable Development Program (PNGSD), a charitable trust and Ok Tedi’s biggest shareholder.
PNGSDP Chairman Sir Mekere Morauta has admitted PNG’s government is unlikely to pay the full price for the mine.
Martyn Namorong, a PNG writter and blogger currently employed as a consultant for PNGSDP has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat he believes this would amount to expropriation.
“My main concern relates to whether the PNG government is willing to pay for PNGSDP shares, which are estimated to be worth about $US 1.1 billion,” he said.
“If the state is not willing to give the people of Western Province their 1.1 billion dollars worth of shares, then the state is essentially stealing from the people of Western Province.”
Mr Namorong is calling on the PNG government to pay the market price and to maintain PNGSDP’s strong environmental record.
Editor’s note: In the original version of this story, Martin Namorong was introduced as a PNG writer and blogger. Mr Namorong is currently employed by Ok Tedi’s biggest shareholder, the PNG Sustainable Development Program. Although he was not speaking as a representative of the company, it was an over-sight he wasn’t introduced as such.