Gedion Timothy Lapan | The National aka The Loggers Times
THE Londolovit community on Lihir Island, New Ireland, whose water reservoir supplies the operations of the gold mine there, has expressed disappointment over the Environment Act of 2000.
Community spokesperson Roselyn Arau said the provision in that law denied (them) the right to be paid for the use of their water. She said the laws recognised their water as “property of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea” and therefore payments for the use of their water were made to the State and not the traditional owners.
“In the case of Londolovit River where Lihir Gold Limited is extracting water under Environmental Permit WE – L3 (143), only K380, 160 is paid annually to the State at a permitted rate of 4400 cubic metre per hour or 38,544 cubic metre per year,” Arau said.
She said in the absence of a formal arrangement with the State, Londolovit completely missed out on payment for water use and queried where thee monies had been kept by the State since. Arau was reacting to findings in an environmental audit report on Londolovit River by an Australian consultant which was commissioned by the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority (CEPA) between May-August this year.
It was claimed that CEPA among other Government departments and agencies were in receipt of a K113 million claim by Londolovit water resources owners for water extraction “over and above” permitted rates.
Last month, a Government delegation led by CEPA was on the island and presented the report to all stakeholders including landowners and LGL officials.