Call for greater returns for PNG resource owners

Papua New Guinea opposition leader and Kandep MP Don Polye. Photo: Papua New Guinea opposition

Papua New Guinea opposition leader and Kandep MP Don Polye. Photo: Papua New Guinea opposition

Radio New Zealand | 3 March 2017

Papua New Guinea’s Opposition Leader Don Polye is calling for the petroleum and energy sector to ensure resource owners’ get greater benefits.

Speaking at the inaugural petroleum and energy summit being underway in Port Moresby, Mr Polye said the discussions have been one-sided – focussing on corporate profitability, while the interests of landowners have been ignored.

Mr Polye says earnings from the sector must also benefit the people and secure their futures.

He says PNG’s human development index has worsened despite the existence of world-class energy projects in the country.

The biggest project is the ExxonMobil-led Liquefied Natural Gas project which has commercialised gas fields in the country’s Highlands region.

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

LNG Project facility, Central Province, Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The US$19 billion LNG Project began exports to Asian markets in 2014, but landowner communities are still complaining that they have seen little in the way of benefits from the project.

While their grievances have tended to be with government rather than developer, landowners mounted various protests last year, demanding outstanding project payments, and greater share of equity in the project.

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4 Comments

Filed under Financial returns, Human rights, Papua New Guinea

4 responses to “Call for greater returns for PNG resource owners

  1. Sandy Patton

    The Landowners deserve to ne paid. Wouldn’t happen anywhere else

  2. LMM Neuendorf (Dr)

    Now this is the type and kind of leadership PNG needs to ensure it’s people and it’s wealth have a lasting impact and benefit sharing amongst its citizens and land and resources owners. The wealth distribution is one sided at the moment where multi nationals and big companies such as Exxon Mobil, Total SA, Rio Tinto and Lihir (Newcrest) Mining to name a few reap most of the benefits, moving millions of dollars out of the country through profits. The Pogera and Panguna mines should be strong examples of very little impact and outcomes for landowners.

    Multi nationals in Papua New Guinea are protected by long term tax breaks and business concessions that bring little outcomes for the people. Papua New Guinea should now be a force to be reckoned with having immense natural resources. The government has lacked the motivation, will and courage to make ample and considerate resources extraction laws by making deliberate choices to build its own capacities and capabilities.

    There is a continuance and heavy reliance on resource companies. Papua New Guinea should have Learned from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, Israel, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Venezuela in the control, development and ownership of resource based industries.

    Papua New Guinea should be now not ONLY an exporter of raw materials but should have built its own refineries and petro chemical plants. The VALUE of demonstrated by-products of raw materials has far greater net gains for the country making its economy stronger, creating more jobs for its citizens and maintaining the right to source out its resources or develop these itself.

    It is useless and rhetorical statement to make that Papua New Guinea did not and has not had the knowhow to develop it’s own petro chemical industries. It’s a lame excuse for the government when extractive industries have been in the country since Independence.

    Todays politicians are more about their own pockets, their inflated egos and continue to demonstrate the “YES MASTA” SYNDROME never really realising that they are selling the people and the country’s BIRTHRIGHT to conglomerates and multi nationals. Even if they did, they would be more worried about their won interests and bank balances than about the mother that has a miscarriage in child birth, children that don’t even have books and resources for their schools, the ordinary hardworking citizen that slogs a 40 hour week.

    Papua New Guinea will NEVER BREAK EVEN OR HAVE THE UPPPER HAND, IF IT CONTINES TO SELL ITS RESOURCES WITHOUT PROPER ACCOUNTIBILITY. What accountability and checks and balances it has is but a mere school of krills that ply the southern oceans.

    People need to make informed choices and be directed toward electing leaders with not yesterday’s visions but Visions that Inspire Greatness for the country and its People. As much as many do not like Trump, his motto of “Lets Make America Great Again” should inspire upcoming, visionary and decisive leaders for Papua New Guinea. Why not “Make Papua New Guinea Great”!!!!!!

    Forty two years of INDEPENDENCE and the Grass is still NO Greener for the ordinary citizen and Papua New Guinea.

    Money spent in Port Moresby is NOT Money spent for the Rural masses. There are too many Ivory Towers in Port Moresby and they need to be scaled down. The Ivory Towers DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE POPULAR MASSES.

    I don’t know about you but it makes my blood boil to see the country and the peoples’ wealth being squandered by greedy, egotistic leaders whose only interest is lining their own pockets.

    LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK.

    LM Neuendorf (Dr)

  3. Gee Mail

    Be clear though that landowners aren’t resource owners. Agree- a better deal is needed for all parties in the resource development game in PNG including developers.

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