Jacklyn Sirias | The National aka The Loggers Times | February 21, 2017
EXXONMOBIL PNG will continue operations despite the protest by landowners against the Government over royalty payments, according to a spokesperson.
Landowners from the four impacted villages – Papa, Lealea, Boera and Porebada – gathered in front of the LNG site yesterday, blocked the gate and main road.
They want the Government to pay the royalties due to them.
Spokesperson Chief Nao Nao claimed that they had not been paid royalties since May 2014.
A spokesperson for ExxonMobil said their primary concern was the safety of their staff and the community.
“We are monitoring the peaceful protest outside the LNG plant in Central and continue to engage with the relevant landowner groups,” the spokesperson said.
“We are continuing to do everything we can to facilitate communication between all parties.
“We respect the right of individuals to peacefully protest. But we also encourage continued dialogue between landowners and the government to resolve their outstanding issues.
“We hope the landowners and the Government can resolve this situation promptly and in an amicable manner.”
Meanwhile, Central police were monitoring the protest yesterday.
Central Police Commander Chief Inspector Laimo Asi said he had already warned the chiefs and leaders of the villages to control their people.
He said they would be held responsible if anything went wrong.
“If anything goes wrong, the leaders will be held responsible. I’ve already warned them,” Asi said.